David Cameron has apologised to Conservative councillors who lost their seats as his party suffered an electoral backlash from voters.
He said the elections took place against a "difficult national backdrop" but insisted the Government was doing the "right thing for our country".
Mr Cameron said the coalition would carry on taking "difficult decisions" to tackle the economic crisis.
The Tory leader said: "I am sorry for all the hard-working Conservative councillors who lost their seats, obviously against a difficult national backdrop.
"These are difficult times and there aren't easy answers.
"What we have to do is take the difficult decisions to deal with the debt, deficit and broken economy that we've inherited and we will go on making those decisions and we've got to do the right thing for our country."
Mr Cameron said that in places like Amber Valley in Derbyshire, which had been Labour for decades, there was still a Conservative council.
He added: "When you are trying to bring the country out of the debt, the deficit and the broken economy that Labour left us, there aren't easy decisions but we've got to make sure we do everything to demonstrate that we are on the side of people who work hard and do the right thing for themselves and their families.
"That is who we are fighting for, that is who we must govern for."