A senior Labour councillor put himself forward tonight to become his party’s next leader after council chief Warren Morgan announced that he was standing down.
Councillor Daniel Yates, who chairs the Health and Wellbeing Board, which brings together councillors, council officials, health chiefs and others, urged colleagues to unite behind him.
The 45-year-old councillor for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean put himself forward at a meeting of the Labour group – made up of the 22 Labour members of Brighton and Hove City Council.
Councillor Morgan announced his resignation to the Labour group meeting after three years as leader of the council, running the administration without a majority.
Councillor Yates said: “Obviously with the news of Warren Morgan’s departure from leadership of the Labour and Co-operative group on the council and his leadership of the Labour and Co-operative administration many members will have strong opinions over the future direction of the Labour and Co-operative group and the effect on our Labour campaign to take majority control of Brighton and Hove City Council in 2019.
”As a member of the Labour and Co-operative group I have formally indicated to group this evening that I will put my name forward to lead the group and the city council forward into the 2019 elections where the future of our city, our public services and the prosperity of our residents will be at stake.
“Labour in the city has a record membership, strong community activism and the popular support across all parts of the city to take control of the city council and to deliver the best possible services despite ongoing savage Tory austerity.
”We cannot undo what national Tory government is doing to us but as a Labour and Co-operative city council we can work to protect the most vulnerable and demonstrate as a party that by the strength of our common endeavour we can achieve more than we achieve alone.
“I am proud of the positive results that a minority administration led by Warren has delivered for the city.
”I know that, with a united party working for the benefit of residents in communities, on the council and in Westminster we can all play our part in delivering the better, fairer society that we all wish to see.
“The decision of a future leader will be one for our councillors to take.
”I hope to be able to win their support but more I hope that the whole Labour and Co-operative group will be able to earn, engage and repay the support of the whole party in the months and years ahead.”