Brighton and Hove Conservatives choose new leader

Posted On 08 May 2019 at 8:59 am

Conservative councillors in Brighton and Hove have elected Steve Bell as their new leader.

Councillors Steve Bell and Dee Simson

Councillor Bell faced competition from his ward colleague Councillor Dee Simson who is in her final few weeks as mayor of Brighton and Hove.

They were running to take over from Councillor Tony Janio who announced his resignation at the weekend after the Tories were defeated at the local elections last week.

Councillor Janio said that, having listened to voters on the doorstep and noted their verdict at the ballot box, he could not put himself forward to lead the local party again while Theresa May remained Prime Minister.

The party’s deputy leaders on Brighton and Hove City Council will be former council leader Councillor Mary Mears, who represents Rottingdean Coastal ward, and Councillor Lee Wares, who represents Patcham.

Councillor Bell said: “I am delighted to have been elected as group leader and to have the confidence of the Conservative group on the back of last week’s local elections.

”The election results for us were not as we would have hoped as the electorate demonstrated their anger at the government at the ballot box and with a vast number of our supporters staying at home.

”I believe in last week’s election there has been a clear message sent to us locally and to the government and I want the residents to know that locally we have heard you loud and clear.

”It now falls on me to ensure that the government also hears this message.

”There is much to be done to re establish the local Conservative brand and policies and as a group we have already begun to undertake this.

”Something I have always been proud of is the continued unity of the Conservative group in the city and this is a strength which we do not see in other parties.

”I am very proud to be elected leader of the city’s Conservative group whose members are like-minded, determined and united to work hard for the city of Brighton and Hove.”

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Meanwhile, is the Momentum majority in the Labour ranks signing a contract to build its promised monorail along the seafront? As they find that local government does not quite work like that, there is sure to be dissent: even hairier than public meetings will be those in vape-filled rooms.

  2. Rolivan Reply

    Quitters never win,winners never quit.
    Withdean and Hanover showed that the Green Party should have won but for a little more strength in other Wards.

  3. Valerie Reply

    Momentum will get as good as they give from Steve Bell! He is no shrinking violet!

    Council meetings are set to be lively & theatrical – must attend! – public events over the four years ahead! Decision-making will
    hopefully be about financial reality, merit & negotiation more than tub-thumping ideology because of no overall control.

    All those new cllrs who have never even attended a council mtg before now get sobering induction training ahead of May’s Annual Council & their first committee meetings – beginning mid-June. Still outstanding is hearing who Momentum’s replacement for Labour’s leader, Dan Yates wil be, who the Administration leader will be.

    Let battle commence!

  4. Alan Burrows Reply

    The reason why Steve Bell’s majority fell from over 1000 to less than 100 wasn’t down to a lesson in Brexit they were lost to Labour. It was because locals in Woodingdean are angry that facilities have disappeared with without even a sound from the Conservatives. All the toilets in the parks are broken, the parks are full of rubbish, our GP service closed, we have lost half our buses, the council houses repairs are shoddy, the bins are never collected on time, the tennis court has been in disrepair for years, no community pub. Tories blame the Labour majority govt for it yet it is the Tories who have implemented these cuts. I think when residents hear Steve think his demise in popularity is solely Brexit and not services it will be the beginning of the end. Such arrogance.

  5. Julian Wadey Reply

    I have know Steve Bell CBE personally and watched his career for years and was excited to read about your recent political victory. Steve You have always impressed me with your clear vision and ability to get the job done against the most formidable opposition and all this coming from a socialist East London family welldone Steve and welldone Maria Caulfield MP I am in no doubt you will both leave your mark and will do some good for this Country we are all so proud off.

  6. Jenny B Reply

    I used to love his cartoons in the Guardian, never knew he was a Conservative but good luck to him.

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