Labour has offered to share power with the Greens after one of their councillors quit the party over claims of anti-Semitism.
Kate Knight announced she had resigned this lunchtime, a week after Anne Pissaridou was suspended. Councillor Nichole Brennan has been under investigation since March, but not suspended.
The Greens said this afternoon they are meeting tonight to consider the proposals and would issue a statement “in due course”.
As Labour has just one more councillor than the Greens, talk has been rife last week with speculation of a motion of no confidence in Labour.
Both independent councillors, Bridget Fishleigh and former Conservative Tony Janio, have signalled they could support the Greens should such a vote be called.
Brighton and Hove News understands the Labour group voted against seeking an alliance with the Greens when they met last Friday, with both Momentum and moderate members opposing the move.
But after lobbying from a number of left leaning councillors, an emergency meeting was held this morning during which some members asked council leader Nancy Platts to approach the Greens with a proposal for a power sharing arrangement.
The offer would be conditional on the council continuing to have a Labour leader.
Councillor Janio said: “The last days of the Labour Empire. The city heads towards perdition under a decaying Labour administration, and their last gasp is to offer Power sharing? Time to go Nancy.
“On a personal note, I think this is a shame as Nancy has been a good leader – it’s her disgraced councillors that need to wake up and do the honourable thing: resign now.”
Councillor Fishleigh said: “Three Labour Councillors and one Labour MP in Brighton and Hove have now been disgraced.
“We now face the very real possibility of Green-Labour power sharing as our city continues to sink further into the mire – with thousands of our residents wondering if they will ever work again.
“And one more big problem to add to the list: our current crop of Green and Labour councillors simply aren’t equipped with the skills, experience and common sense needed to deliver the reforms that our city so desperately needs.
“The city – and country – is in a crisis and, economically, it is only just beginning.
“It could end terribly for the local community if councillors can’t – or won’t – accept that it’s time for a cross-party, non-political approach to decide what the priorities must be to get us through COVID with as little damage as possible.
“It’s not only about roundabouts and wheelie bins now. It’s about jobs and livelihoods.”
The reversal amongst the more leftwing Labour councillors follows discussions amongst local party members who asked councillors to change their mind.
During a discussion on a private Facebook group, Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said: “The left Labour councillors voted against coalition yesterday.
“The Greens will now take over and we will be opposition.
“Coalition is what the city, I think, wants.”
He added: “I’m not sure Greens would agree but someone needs to make the first approach.”
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