The Labour Party agreed to stand aside this evening and hand power in Brighton and Hove back to the Greens.
Labour is no longer the largest party on Brighton and Hove City Council after one councillor was suspended and two resigned following claims of anti-semitism.
These follow social media posts and statements made by sitting councillors, published in recent days by Brighton and Hove News.
An offer to share power was made to the Greens but this has been turned down.
Labour said: “Following the Green Party’s rejection of Labour’s offer of power-sharing – and since becoming the largest party on Brighton and Hove City Council with 19 councillors to Labour’s 18 – it is only right that Labour step aside and allow the Greens to form a new administration.
“This is in the interest of democracy and in the best interests of the city.
“Labour will embrace opposition and take on the crucial role of standing up for residents and holding the new administration to account from opposition.”
The party said that it was vital to put the needs of residents and businesses first, not party politics, especially during the public health crisis.
The party said: “This means that what’s needed is a smooth and orderly transition but also one that happens quickly so that there is immediate clarity about the leadership of the city.
“Labour will play its full part in handing over and supporting the new administration to get to grips with leading the council at such a difficult time for us all.”
Labour council leader Nancy Platts has asked officers to prepare a report to come to a meeting of the full council on Thursday (23 July) as the first item on the agenda.
The recommendations of the report will state that the Green group will form the administration and that the Labour group will form the official opposition, with immediate effect.
Councillor Platts said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to lead the city I love over the last year. Leading the city council is a role that requires full attention which is why I left my job to take over as council leader and I have no regrets about that.
“As a Labour administration, we should be proud of our achievements since 2015 and the manifesto that we stood on in the local elections.
Councillor Nancy Platts“Since May 2019 we have continued to prioritise building more homes, including council homes, and set up a climate assembly to achieve our goal of becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2030.
“More recently we have helped steer the city through an unprecedented public health crisis and focused our efforts on economic recovery, backing our local businesses and supporting our most vulnerable residents, including children, those with disabilities and older people.
“Let’s not forget that by working in a constructive way with opposition groups, we have gained support for a corporate plan that puts Labour pledges into council policy, a City Plan that provides a blueprint for sustainable development in the city, and a progressive and balanced budget in difficult financial circumstances.
“We must now build on that work to create a fairer city, with a sustainable future, and continue to serve our residents, from opposition.”
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.