What happened when the Tories tried to oust Labour in Brighton and Hove

Labour has kept control of Brighton and Hove City Council, with support from Green councillors.

During a relatively brief debate Labour and Green councillors criticised the Conservatives for attempting to take control of the city.

Greens described themselves as between a rock and a hard place as the group grudgingly voted to support the Labour administation.

The only change to the council committee chairs was that Councillor Tracey Hill will take over as chair of the Housing and New Homes Committee from Councillor Anne Meadows who left Labour for the Conservatives.

Thirty Labour and Green councillors voted together to defeat the 21 Conservatives.

Labour leader Councillor Daniel Yates said that he did not believe a change at this stage was right for the city.

He said: “Stability and continuity are key to this council and key to the success of this council.

“I do think it is important to make sure it continues.”

Councillor Yates said that the public would decide in eight weeks who they want in administration.

He said: “The convention in this chamber is whoever wants to run the council has the confidence of the full council.

“If they cannot have confidence of the full council then they do not deserve to be in administration.”

Green convenor Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty mentioned how Labour’s Brighton Kemptown Lloyd Russell-Moyle recently said that without something changing, the party would lose seats to the Conservatives and Greens.

He said: “But first, let’s roll back four years and compare behaviours.

“Virtually every nasty trick in the book was deployed by Labour in opposition – they clubbed together with the Tories to cut the sustainability budget.

“The former Labour leader who on the one hand wasted council time and officer money with his no confidence vote but at the same time hilariously said: ‘You cannot use the people of this city to play political games.’

“A no confidence vote that incidentally, had no meaning.”

Councillor Mac Cafferty said that the people of the city should not be used for political games, recalling a no-confidence vote in the previous administration.

He said: “We will not allow the architects of Conservative government austerity to take control of the council, but neither are we here to prop up a failing Labour administration.

“Neither party are fit to steer our city through the challenges ahead.”

Conservative group leader Councillor Tony Janio argued it is convention that the largest party is in control, which is the Tories since Councillor Anne Meadows joined his group and Councillor Warren Morgan left Labour.

He said: “We believe in upholding traditions. This is no power grab. We should be the administration.

“Greens and Labour are ganging up as they always do.

“Labour is a decaying administration. Do we leave them with another 58 days to run this city.

“It is too important to leave it to this crumbling administration.”

From Wednesday 6 March it will remain business as usual.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    It was more like a hustings meeting!

    I wearied of the phrase “between a rock and a hard place”. It should have been “between Black Rock and a hard place”.

    What struck me is that the Conservatives’ speeches were underpowered, and indeed cllr Janio was uncommonly brief, the knot of his tie still in place at the end of his persiflage.

    Word is that he realised it would take inordinate effort – and officer time – to run the place for a fortnight, and that would be a distraction from Election efforts, when, presumably, they will be touting Valley Gardens (Steine) as an issue.

    As so often with such meetings, the most interesting part was the discussion afterwards, er, shall we say, elsewhere.

  2. Marg Reply

    Better the Tories start with a good majority after the May elections. That way they will have a clear shot at cleaning up the city.

  3. roy pennington Reply

    persiflage = steer away from politians/commentators who try to bamboozle voters with unpronounceable words

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