Labour offers to share power with Greens after councillor resigns

Posted On 20 Jul 2020 at 2:28 pm

Councillor Nancy Platts

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.”

  1. Paul J Williams Reply

    As long as they put this city and its economic recovery first, and get rid of all vanity schemes and ‘temporary’ ‘experiments’on our lives without public notice, consultation or consent, I don’t care what formation they choose.

  2. Rob A Reply

    Coalition – it will be a coalition of Chaos. I would have to agree with Cllr Fishleigh how about using those with skills and experience from all areas of the political spectrum in order to protect the local economy and as others have said end these ‘temporary’ vanity schemes.

  3. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    Who would notice the difference re a coalition? The Greens almost invariably side with Labour anyway and many voters last year seemed to have forgotten what a total mess Kitcat & Co made in their term of office (to the extent that Kitcat ran away). All residents deserve a lot better than this shower. Paul Williams is right – put all the stupid vanity projects aside and all work together to get the city out of the mess it’s in.

  4. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    My fear is that the other Parties want the Green Party to carry the can for their balls-ups in earlier years – as we saw with the Bins strike brought by the unspeakable GMB, when the Greens had to contend with Equalities issue.

    Labour should continue to bear responsibilty for these problems it brought upon itself.

    And the main player in all that is the now-Mayor cllr Robins who gleefully tried to close down Hove Library while showing no grasp of the details. He has so much to answer for.

  5. Nathan Adler Reply

    Blimey the fiasco of the bins, the unpopularity of the OSR Cycle lane, the unpopularity of Madeira Drive closure, the fiasco of Home to School Transport, a city that is filthy and tired looking and we haven’t even finished the potential farce of Valley Gardens Phase 3 yet. If I was the Greens I would run a mile.

  6. Valerie Reply

    I have huge respect & regard for Cllr Fishleigh but her remarks here are concerning.

    The Blairite centrists defame their Momentum collleagues & seek to hound them out just as Momentum soughtt to get Blairites deselected ahead of last year’s elections.

    The Cllrs accused of antisemitism are not disgraced – they are defamed and sadly Keir Starmer is leading the rout having so cruelly axed Rebecca Long Bailey by weaponising the Jewish religion & clouting her with it. To my mind all these antisemitism slurs callously disregard just how many Jews are deeply distressed by right wing Israeli Govt behaviour towards Palestinians and the land grabs.

    The Blairite faction appears to endorse the policies of Netanyahu by demonising anyone who has a problem with the ethics/morality of Israel’s policies. It is callously antisemitic to hijack judaism for sleazy British political gamesmanship purposes & internal viciousness amongst Labour members towards one another.

    The Greens mist refuse the poisoned chalice and perhaps Labour should just step aside entirely as internal warfare is clearly dominating their time & gossip. The City needs a Council able to devote undivided attention to surviving a pandemic, jobs meltdiwn & the horror problem of £36m owed by i360 which has to be repaid by BHCC!

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