Brighton council leader urged to quit by fellow Labour councillor

Posted On 23 Oct 2017 at 11:28 pm

A Labour councillor has urged the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council – his party colleague Warren Morgan – to resign.

Councillor Kevin Allen called on Councillor Morgan to stand down in an email after the council leader was made aware of criticisms aired at a ward party meeting.

The email reflects tensions in the local Labour Party between supporters of the national party leader Jeremy Corbyn and those who see themselves as nearer the centre of the left-right political spectrum.

These tensions were exacerbated by the row about anti-semitism during the Labour Party conference in Brighton last month.

Councillor Morgan wrote to the party general secretary warning that the party may not be welcome back in Brighton unless it dealt with the issue.

After the council leader received Councillor Allen’s email, he said: “This matter has been discussed with colleagues and Councillor Allen has been provided with a personal response.”

The email from Councillor Allen said: “You will have gathered that I made critical remarks about you at the Preston Park ward meeting last Wednesday (18 October). This is what I said, plus some additional reflections.

“Self-deprecatingly I began by saying I had nothing to report as I had ‘gone awol’ (absent without leave) for over two weeks.

“I explained that almost immediately after Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speech (which I watched on television) I left for a holiday in Germany.

“I arrived there a few days after their federal election, in which the Social Democrats lost yet another 5 per cent of their vote following a lacklustre campaign.

“What a contrast with our own general election campaign!

“I then referred to a front-page leading article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine, the message of which was that if the Social Democrats had not been so busy licking their wounds they should have been in Brighton, where they would have learned a thing or two from the energy and enthusiasm on display.

“Then I said how shocked I was that instead of celebrating a wonderful conference in our city all we heard from you was the suggestion that you might stop the Labour Party conference returning to Brighton.

“I informed the members present at the meeting about the joint email from the three CLP (Constituency Labour Party) chairs and subsequent correspondence though there wasn’t enough time to quote directly from any of the exchanges.

Councillor Kevin Allen

“Referring to the general election results in Hove and Kemptown, I said it was clear there was a large reservoir of Labour votes, making a strong majority Labour administration in 2019 a real possibility.

“However, for this to happen there needed to be synergy between the Labour group and the party and I didn’t consider it likely to be achieved under your leadership.

“Basically that was it. I decided to speak out because the matter was already in the public domain (you had made sure of that) and members were talking about it.

“The issue of anti-semitism is a minefield. Usually I avoid it, as I do discussions about Israel and Palestine.

“In my earlier years I generally shared the pro-Israel position of the old Labour left. There were no stronger supporters of the young State of Israel than Nye Bevan, Richard Crossman and Ian Mikardo.

“Later I became more aware of the Palestinian cause. For over five years I lived in Israel. This gave me an insight into the complexity of the question.

“It also brought home to me what extreme anti-semitism can lead to. A large numbers of Israelis of my generation grew up without grandparents, left behind in Europe where they were slaughtered.

“I hope you will understand why I find the ease with which some people in our party make accusations of anti-semitism very distressing.

Councillor Warren Morgan

“Warren, the problem isn’t just the poor judgment you have shown on this occasion. The trouble is there is an accumulation of things.

“The role you played in getting the former district party AGM (annual general meeting) annulled has not been forgotten.

“Then there was your conspicuous lack of engagement in the general election campaign in your own constituency.

“Now the failure to say anything positive about conference.

“You simply don’t like what the party has become – and it shows. Nobody expects you to turn into a Corbynista but others, closer to your political position than mine, have successfully adjusted to the new political reality.

“The period ahead is bound to be challenging, with a new, no doubt quite assertive LCF (Local Campaign Forum), followed by selections and drawing up a manifesto.

“Getting through all this will be tricky, all the more so if those on the party side of the table have little trust in the leader, as is I’m afraid the case at the moment.

“Warren, you deserve a good deal of credit for the coherence of this Labour administration.

“However, to return Labour to a hegemonic position in the city is going to require a huge joint effort from councillors and the party base.

“There are several others in our group with the right combination of skills to lead us forward to this next stage.

“For the sake of the party you should make way now.”

  1. Ex Brightonian Reply

    Warren Morgan will blame central government

  2. Preston Park resident Reply

    Nice to see that the lesser spotted Cllr Allen can find the time to attack his colleagues even if he can’t find the time to show up to his job as a councillor.

    His ‘letter’ makes him sound like a venal, self obsessed and pompous old man – so no change there then!

    • Tony Greenstein Reply

      AGAIN nothing to say and no courage to give his/her name

      • Freddie Long Reply

        A quick perusal of the minutes of various council meetings shows better attendance by Kevin Allen than by some of his colleagues. He’s also out and about and visible if, like me, you shop in the Open Market.

  3. Gerald Wiley Reply

    So according to Kevin, Warren must accept Corbynism and Marxism as required by the Momentum bully boys, or he should resign?

    So much for freedom of speech, thought, expression and accepting diversity in a potential communist state under thr beloved Jeremy?

    • Charlie Bley Reply

      Problem is that it seems that Mr Morgan doesn’t have the confidence of his elected leader, his local party, the elected officers of his local party or even all of his councillors. It also seems he has views and a style of management that is out of touch with the city and alienates many people. This is nothing to do with bullying, -isms or freedom of speech. Mr Morgan can say whatever he wants but it’s clear he doesn’t and can’t represent his own party and can’t speak for its members, officers or national leader. They have the right to a local leader who can represent and speak for them. That’s why he should stand down.

      • Daniel Harris Reply

        Really great point and well put. I would like to echo this and also add in that Morgan seems to have a distinct lack of people skills and certainly management, a good manager gets the workers on side, a good leader gets the community onside.

        What Kevin said about him not campaigning in his own CLP and Ward in the election is true, sorry actually he turned up to get the vote out and was shocked to see Corbyns army of young people getting the vote out.

        On the basis of his own slogan “A Council That Works For Everyone” we must judge and sadly he failed. I do wish him all the best and am sure he will go onto to achieve great things, being in council gives you connections and he surely will not let those go to waste. #Next

  4. Roger Reply

    So a councillor, who I’ve no idea what he does (perhaps nothing!) urges our council leader to resign because the leader dare speak out against antisemitism and wants Labour to hold up equality and fairness.

    I’ve heard it all now. If this is what Allen and Corbyns labour are like, the party really needs to get itself sorted out and deal with these people and allow those like Warren Morgan to get on with their jobs.

    • Tony Greenstein Reply

      It would be helpful Roger if you could occasionally read and digest. Warren Morgan wasn’t condemning anti-Semitism he was branding supporters of the Palestinians and anti-Zionists as anti-Semites. That is why when he attacked an Israeli Jewish speaker for ‘anti-semitism’ Morgan also said that I, a Jewish anti-Zionist should be expelled. This is not ‘anti-semitism’ it is support, right or wrong, for the Israeli state.

  5. Daniel Harris Reply

    I agree. I was a delegate at the Labour party conference and there was no antisemitism. I was born and raised in Whitehawk, and felt privlidged to represent those from equality groups and the vulnerable.

    With 1000’s in emergency and temporary accommodation in the city now facing revenge evictions, disgraceful conditions or mental health issues, I cannot forgive this administration for removing all support for these vulnerable people. We have seen a huge rise in suicides and these actions detract from the real suffering being caused by the tories and this local labour group.

    They simply have no power, the council execs rule the roost and when It comes to housing, this labour group are giving away and selling off our public land. They often vote with the local tories in committees and full council.

    Jeremy Corbyn is a Prime Minister in waiting, the policies and manifesto was what locals and community volunteers have been waiting for, the labour group need to consider Kevin Allen and others who have yet to speak out. Its time for a vote of no confidence in Warren Morgan, he would be best suited working on his case load of issues.

    In 2019 we have a chance to finally give Brighton and Hove back to the people, this is a first and councillors like Warren do not want this, real Brighton and Hove locals making the decisions for all, not just the agenda of one man, who has been overwhelmingly rejected by the local membership, who will not deliver his propaganda. We Need Change!

    • John Doyle Reply

      You wouldn’t be giving Brighton back to the people – you would be giving it a smalll group of Momentum supporters. If you really believed in people power you would be supporting proportional representation. Rather than refusing to accept anti-Semitic men exists in the party you should be supporting efforts to wipe it out, just like all discrimination, which has no place in the party.

  6. Gordon Reid Reply

    Warren has championed right wing Tory policy that EHRC, liberty, FFT,NFA Residents Assosiation.have all said is being used to discriminate against ethnic minorities and the most vulnerable in our society.Hes overseen the granting of contracts to Slum Lords that pay tax in the Caymans.not to mention dodgy overpayments to Mears.Under his watch the housing crisis has grown more street homeless die every year.The promise and vote in full council to open empty buildings for the Homeless has still not been honored into our second winter.Those in emergency accommodation are being evicted for making legitimate complaints about the slums they are forced to live in and talking to the press.Warrens council has acted criminaly to cover up these revenge evictions and Bobby carver is still a prisoner in his own home.Warren no longer has the backing of his party because he’s incompetent of solving the problems this city faces and tries to make his unpopularity about a fake antisemitism scandal

  7. Daniel Harris Reply

    I agree I loved knocking doors at the general election and in particular I was spending time in Whitehawk, Warrens Ward. Kevin makes a good point, Morgan spent most of his time in Hove, with Peter Kyle. I did see him help get the vote out, think he ran the board as usual.

    We need people who are approachable, people who actually like people, sorry but thats not Warren Morgan, I hope the Labour Group reflect and move us as a local party forward onto more exciting things like, our manifesto for 2019, it can be amazing if you all show vision and empathy for us and those who are not benefiting from Warren as Leader, I am sorry but this is NOT a council which works for everyone.

  8. Jonathan Cobbald Reply

    I don’t know where Daniel Harris gets the idea that Warren is not approachable – my experience is completely the opposite. He also knows that many members of Hove Labour Party did nothing to support Peter Kyle at the election, as they put their efforts into Kemptown. As it turned out, everyone should have been happy as their person was elected. As for Cllr Allen, it would be preferable if he were to focus on the positive things that the Council is trying to do rather than undermining his own Group Leader – and if he can’t do that he should put himself up as Group Leader and see how much support he has.

  9. Preston Park resident Reply

    I see somebody has let Daniel Harris off his medication again.

    Nurse, nurse, nurse!

    • Tony Greenstein Reply

      the above comment is pathetic in every way. If someone was ill then it would be despicable to attack them for it. Daniel is however a brave and articulate person which is more than can be said for someone who doesn’t even have the courage to give their name

    • Tony Greenstein Reply

      what a nasty little comment the anonymous PP resident is. If anyone needs a nurse it is him. And probably a backbone too since s/he doesn’t have the courage to give his name!

      • Anna Page Reply

        I would say he probably knows Daniel Harris well. Daniel does some really good things but is a bully who doesn’t understand free speech. Just look at the nasty comments on his Facebook page about poor people just trying to do their job. I thought Labour was about unity and a better future for all not allowing bullies who have no idea about what a council is trying to do to spout a load of rubbish about stuff they know nothing about.

        • Tony Greenstein Reply

          what u mean is Daniel disagrees with you. Labour is about unity but not with the supporters of the Tories inside our party

        • Daniel Harris Reply

          I work with vulnerable people, I fight there corner in court, but then we all turn up when they are being evicted and fight for there rights, does warren? I am certainly not a busy, I am outspoken and often speak the truth, which sadly hurts some when they cant handle the truth.

          We really do all work as part of a team, and I am talking about the community of volunteers who are unpaid and make a real difference, so what If I object to Morgan, I have evidence and a lot of knowledge as to what his policies have done to the likes of me, who has lived experience.

          and the silly comment above about the meds, seriously bipolar2 is a disability and that comment is hate crime and borderline discrimination, grow up.

    • Charlie Bley Reply

      The anonymous comment from the Preston Park resident about one of the commentators on this story is nasty and cowardly. It’s the kind of comment that is deplored by fair and decent leaders of political parties and groups. I wonder if Warren Morgan would agree?

  10. Jane Lythell Reply

    I was stunned to read that Warren Morgan had suggested the Labour Conference might not be welcome in Brighton. What very poor judgement that can only harm the standing and the economy of our city. His destructive comments were taken up by The Sun, The Daily Mail and Theresa May. I have lost confidence in him and believe his position as Leader of the Labour Group is untenable.
    Finally, I think the personal comment made by the anonymous Preston Park resident about Daniel Harris is a disgrace.

  11. Barry Purchese Reply

    As a Council Tax payer I’ve felt for some time now that Warren Morgan has ceased to represent the city of Brighton and Hove and has increasingly acted out of self interest and I agree that it is time for him to go.

    As for the comments from Preston Park Resident about Daniel Harris, they are the sort of despicable and cowardly remarks to be expected of someone who hides behind anonymity.

  12. Joe Stains Reply

    He’ll live in Brighton’s ‘Hall of Fame’
    (He got there blow-by-blow)
    Your kids will tell THEIR kid his name;
    Good old, Warren Morgan-oh!

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