Conservatives boycott mayor-making in response to Labour and Green snub

Conservative councillors boycotted the mayor-making ceremony this afternoon (Thursday 26 May) after their nomination, Councillor Dawn Barnett, was snubbed by Labour and the Greens.

Deputy mayor Mary Mears, the former Conservative leader of the council, had been due to take over from Labour councillor Alan Robins.

But she was unable to take on the role because of ill health and her party put forward Dawn Barnett as mayoral candidate in her stead.

But the Greens and Labour councillors said that they woud not support her nomination.

They brought forward the election of Green councillor Lizzie Deane, who had been due to become deputy mayor today and mayor next May.

In a statement before the meeting, the Conservtaives said: “We are saddened to make this decision, particularly given the mayoralty is one of the most cherished civic traditions of Brighton and Hove City Council and is meant to be non-political.

“However, as neither Labour nor the Greens support the Conservative candidate, we felt it was only fair and reasonable that we show our support for Councillor Dawn Barnett by neither attending nor voting for the new mayor and deputy mayor at this year’s annual council meeting.

“We support Dawn 100 per cent and we feel very strongly as a group that the actions of Labour and the Greens this year have been underhanded and wrong.”

The mayor’s role is ceremonial and politically neutral. Mayors spend their year raising money for charity, attending civic events, greeting official visitors, representing the city and chairing meetings of the full council.

  1. Up at the Crack of Dawn Reply

    How sad that the Brighton and Hove Conservatives didn’t take the opportunity to thank the outgoing Mayor. Petulent, petty behaviour that frankly proves how unnecessary they are. The Conservative nominee was entirely unsuited to the role considering her viewpoints and prejudices. Maybe the Conservatives should just leave the governance of the city to the grown-ups?

  2. Roy Penningto Reply

    Shamefully behaviour by Labour

  3. ChrisC Reply


    Butler is unsuitable to be mayor.

    How can someone who advocated the jet washing of the homeless be Mayor of our City and represent its residents?

    Tories should have agreed a swap so that when Mary Mears recovers she would be slotted in as the next Mayor (assuming she is still a councillor after next year)

    • Peter A Reply


  4. Linda Jameson Reply


  5. Idgie Reply

    How utterly childish. I hope that they grow up and Cllr Mears is able to serve as mayor in future if she remains on the council.

  6. Chris Reply

    Or we could save all this nonsense and not have a mayor ? If they can’t play nicely with the toys we take them away – that’s how we are treated by the council.

  7. David Haskell Reply

    The Tories could have nominated someone else to be mayor but they choose to do this childish nonsense instead.

    • Paul Temple Reply

      So every other party gets to nominate who they want but the Tory nominaion must be vetted? That seems fair….

      • Idgie Reply

        If the Labour group had nominated one of their anti-semites I hope it would have received the same level of pushback. Nobody reasonable wants a bigot as mayor.

        • Mark Collins Reply

          I used to live in Cllr. Barnett’s ward, and she’s no bigot. Nor is she so cowardly as to hide behind a name like Idgie. She works incredibly hard, does a great deal without fanfare, and is fearless in speaking up for those she represents.

  8. Patcham Guy Reply

    It’s the Greens and Labour who are childish.

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