Brighton and Hove council leader resigns

Posted On 26 Feb 2018 at 7:15 pm

The leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Warren Morgan, has resigned.

Councillor Morgan spoke to his Labour council colleagues at a meeting this evening (Monday 26 February) and told them that he was stepping down.

A replacement will be elected by the Labour group of councillors although most expect just one candidate to emerge – Councillor Daniel Yates.

Councillor Morgan is expected to be replaced formally as council leader in May at the latest and to stand down as a councillor at the local elections in May next year.

He said: “It has been the privilege of my life to have been given the opportunity to serve as leader of the place where I was born and which I call home. However, that time must now come to an end.

“Despite the enormous finacial and infrastructure challenges facing the city council, leading it has been a role I have enjoyed and found hugely rewarding, even in only being able to achieve a fraction of what I would have wished to.

“None of what I have achieved as leader of the Labour and Co-operative group over the past five years, or as council leader over the past three, have I achieved alone.

“I have been incredibly lucky to have as a group of friends a team of talented councillor colleagues and a set of dedicated council officers alongside me. Any mistakes have been entirely my own.

“Together I believe we have achieved an enormous amount under near impossible circumstances given the funding, housing and political pressures we face.

“I’d like to pick out just a few things which are important to me.

“Since taking up the Labour and Co-operative group leadership we have gone from third place on the city council to first, almost doubling our number of councillors.

“We have won every council by-election we have faced, increasing our share of the vote even in office.

“Labour now stands ready to win a majority on the city council, a feat no political party in Brighton and Hove has managed in nearly two decades.”

Councillor Warren Morgan

The 50-year-old outgoing council leader also said: “I made it a priority for the Labour administration, on taking office in 2015, to tackle the city’s housing crisis.

“It is not easy but we have succeeded in completing more new council homes in one year than at any time in the the last 30 and an innovative new partnership project to deliver a thousand homes affordable on the National Living Wage is about to begin.

“I put tackling the crisis of rough sleeping at the top of our agenda, While the problem continues to grow, we have ensured thousands have been helped from a life on the streets.

“I have been proud to have played a small role in securing a future for the Madeira Terraces, alongside some dedicated community campaigners.

“As I said last week, our city’s heritage is not something to be remembered but something to be lived. I hope I see the restoration completed.

“Under my leadership we have, despite tens of millions being cut from our funding by the government each year, steadied the council’s finances under a four-year plan, delivered three budgets without the chaos of the Green administration that we replaced, and have done so without the need for any compulsory redundancies.

“We’ve seen increases in customer satisfaction, alongside an acknowledment from residents that we are delivering value for money.

“The council under my leadership has made significant progress on a number of major projects – the new King Alfred leisure centre, the replacement conference centre and concert arena for the Brighton Centre, the expansion of Churchill Square shopping centre, the Circus Street development, the Preston Barracks regeneration scheme and more.

Councillor Warren Morgan celebrating Brighton and Hove Albion’s promotion last year

“Together they total over a billion pounds’ worth of investment in new jobs, homes and economic growth that will secure the city’s economy for the future.

“Two decades of inaction and delay are at an end.

“On a personal note, I was so happy to have been able to play a part in the celebrations to mark the Albion’s promotion to the Premier League and to award the Freedom of the City to Chris Hughton and Tony Bloom.

“I would have wished to lead the Labour group to a deserved win in next year’s elections before retiring in 2020. However, the local Labour Party and others have made it clear they do not want me to do so.

“In order to give my successor time to prepare for those elections I will therefore not seek re-election at the Labour and Co-operative group AGM (annual general meeting) in April and stand down as leader of Brighton and Hove City Council in May.

“After 15 years of representing East Brighton Ward, I will also stand down as a councillor in May 2019.

“I would like to thank all those who have worked with me and supported me over the past five years, and I wish my successor well in taking on the immense and difficult challenges of the years ahead.”

  1. Alan L Reply

    A huge loss for the city. Under exceptionally difficult circumstances the Labour administration, under Warren Morgan’s leadership, has managed to do a lot for the city. Good luck to whoever succeeds him, as it will be an extremely difficult job.

    It’s also a shame that the bullies within the local Labour party will no doubt be celebrating on forcing him out. You’ll know the bullies and other undesirables, as they will be posting publicly, perhaps here but defintiely elsewhere, about how happy they are with this news.

  2. Jek Fong Reply

    Dear Warren,

    Ever since we met in 2007 at the Social Valley centre for the Whitehawk community meeting where you chaired and led the mitigation of the Anti social behaviour and racist attacks to our home, you have tirelessly represented and believed in Whitehawk whilst many in Brighton and Hove have already decided it’s out of sight, out of mind.

    We may not have always shared similar views but you have definately proven you’re a people’s politician, not a careerist like many others nowadays.

    Thanks for all you have done for Whitehawk and Brighton & Hove, you will certainly be missed but never forgotten.

  3. Tony Greenstein Reply

    Good riddance and long overdue. Warren Morgan lost all credibility with the Labour Party after his attack on his own party as ‘antisemitic’ after the last Conference. He will not be missed

    • tom Reply

      I understand Tony greenstein you were at a prevent one voice meeting some of your comments were disgusting and disgraceful tou are in no position to comment on Warren Morgan

      • Tony Greenstein Reply

        since you were not at the meeting I don’t see how you can make a comment about how disgusting and disgraceful they are. No one complained at my comments which were about how the Prevent programme is targeting Muslims and supporters of Palestine. The Home Officer largely agreed with me. But perhaps you believe a touch of Islamaphobia and suppression of speech on Palestine is a worthy cause?

    • Sally Hughes Reply

      Warren acted like a real man, and called-out Momentum’s Corbynista’s over their vicious anti-Semitiam.

      He will be sadly missed by all decent people of good character…

      • Antony R Reply

        “Vicious anti-semitism”? It does not exist among Corbyn supporters – it is a defamatory fiction.

        Anyone examining the claims of AS in detail will easily see that they are either fabricated, misrepresented or relate to legitimate comment on Israel and on Zionist ideology.

        Just one example: at the recent Labour conference in Brighton (which Cllr Morgan threatened to ban) a new Jewish group was launched: Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). Unlike the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), which makes signing up to Zionist ideology a condition of membership, JVL is open to all Jews. At JVL’s launch, a member of the audience (not the organisers) suggested that JLM should be expelled from the party for its partisanship for Israel and Zionism. This was falsely reported as “calls for Jews to be expelled from the party”.

        By endorsing these false defamatory accusations against Labour, Cllr Morgan engaged in statements bringing the party into disrepute. He should be investigated like and disciplined instead of all the anti-Zionist Labour members who have been unjustly persecuted.

        • Antony R Reply

          “… investigated like …” sorry that sounds a bit vernacular. It’s from a hasty edit after I originally typed “… investigated like all the anti-Zionist Labour members …”

      • Tony Greenstein Reply

        I guess if you repeat a lie long enough someone will believe it. What is this ‘vicious antisemitism’ of Momentum? It’s a total myth. Its Chair is Jewish, its former Vice Chair Jackie Walker was Jewish. I am Jewish. I suspect a racist ratbag like you is not Jewish. But then anti-semitism isn’t about hate of Jews but about hating Palestinians and Apartheid israel. Condoning the firing a rubber bullet into the head of Mohammad Tamimi, smashing his skull and after extensive surgery, when he is barely well enough to walk, kidnapping him from his house yesterday and forcing him to ‘confess’ that he fell from his bike, despite copious medical evidence.

        Yes arrested Palestinian children are arrested, beaten up, have no access to lawyers or parents and can be detained indefinitely and are shackled and handcuffed when brough to a military court that has a 99.74% conviction rate.

        Oh sorry I forgot. That is anti-semitic. Unlike libellers and liars like you I actually fought the real antisemitism in Brighton not the fictional antisemitism of rightwing trolls and muppets.

    • Ian Lawrence Reply

      And neither will you be missed Mr Greenstein – thrown out of your own party. Boy how anti Semitic do you actually have to be for the Labour Party to throw you out – clearly not too anti Semitic in Momentum’s eyes.

      • Antony R Reply

        Fact: Tony Greenstein was not expelled for “anti-Semitism”. Action was taken against both him and Ken Livingstone using unspecific catch-all charges, because it was and is obvious that the charge of “anti-Semitism” could not be sustained under legal challenge. Of course the smear is all that’s important for those following the Zionist agenda.

        I have my differences with Tony, but “anti-Semitic” he is not. His alleged “abusive behaviour” is no worse than what is routinely seen from the self-described “moderate” wing of the Labour party. In fact, false accusations of “anti-Semitism” are pretty abusive in themselves.

      • Tony Greenstein Reply

        Another right-wing troll. In the 30’s the Daily Mail and Times/Express were pro-Hitler. Today they and the rest of the Right are now opposed to ‘antisemitism’ i.e. support for the Palestinians.

        I was expelled for being an anti-racist and anti-Zionist.

        Unlike MSM parrots like you I actually fought antisemitism and fascist groups in Brighton and wrote a book about it. All u did was sit on your arse reading your favourite tabloids and filling your mind with the usual scapegoating stories


  4. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    A lesson of Local Government in this area is that politicians mess with Hove’s Carnegie Library at their peril. Cllr Morgan, and his hapless henchman, cllr Robins, have paid the price for endorsing wildly inaccurate figures and putting residents through the lacerating misery of the long cold winter of 2015/2016.

    As for cllr Morgan’s proclamation of his achievements, all of these were set underway by the previous Administration, against which cllr Morgan brought a facile Vote of No Confidence.

    Time has now shown that he has no confidence in himself. He was never up to the job of Leader. He cannot engage with people, his speeches are all read from the autocue of the cards held at his waist.

    Meanwhile, could the Leadership be a battle of the Daniels? Although Daniel Yates is being touted as the only candidate, word is that Emma Daniel might go for it. Neither is an enthusiast for the Carnegie Library, alas, but perhaps they will learn from cllr Morgan’s frantic mistake.

  5. Rostrum Reply

    So which neo-communist corbynista will be foisted on the labour group?

  6. joe Reply

    are you the Christopher Hawtree who used “racist language in a public meeting!!” you are in no position to criticise

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      I certainly did no such thing.

    • Tony Greenstein Reply

      are you going to substantiate this accusation or apologise?

      • Local Policies Reply

        Are drunken rants on a message board really a good way to get people on side? Screaming at people about a single issue is why a lot of us in the public are getting turned off of politics. I may well be pro-Palestine but it is NOT a subject that should take up the time of a local council.

        It is almost as bad as the time and money wasted on Aung San Suu Kyi.

        A LOCAL council should concentrate on LOCAL issues. This whole anti-sematic stuff has gone on too long. Grow up and move on. Agree to disagree. Just stop the childish mud-slinging and intentional misrepresentation of the issues.

  7. TheShed Reply

    Thanks for popping in!

  8. Joe Stains Reply

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

  9. LabourMajorityCouncilNextTime Reply

    Ridiculous, it had absolutely nothing to do with Hove library, so easy to snipe from the sidelines as someone who isn’t even a Green councillor anymore and is absolutely nowhere near any “word” about who might be thinking about being leader.

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      An ear to the ground – even when there is snow upon it!

      • Fishwife, 49 Reply

        Be careful, it’s dark out there: someone might trip over your head.

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