COUNCIL leader Jason Kitcat will be standing down at the next election.

The Green leader of Brighton and Hove City Council will not run for relection in May next year, The Argus can confirm.

Coun Kitcat, who represents the Regency ward, will see out his tenure as leader of the council but will step down at the next round of local elections.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman confirmed his decision.

She said: "Brighton and Hove City Council Leader Jason Kitcat has announced that he will not be standing in the next local election. “Cllr Kitcat will continue as Leader of the Council until May 2015."

When contacted Coun Sue Shanks said she was “extremely surprised”.

But Coun Geoffrey Theobold, leader of the Conservative Party in Brighton and Hove, said he was not surprised when he was informed by The Argus.

“He may well have felt the that he may well not hold his place in the ward he is in.

“I think it’s interesting that as leader of the party he’s not going to lead them into the next election.

“Some of the policies he has put forward have not exactly endeared him to the electorate.”

Warren Morgan, leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group on the council, said more Green councillors will make the same decision.

He said: "Whilst personally I wish Jason Kitcat well in whatever he does next, I would remind everyone that he is remaining in office for another ten months, with another budget and many more vital decisions to make.

He added: "I know that many other Green councillors are not seeking re-election, so their days as a political force in the city are numbered.”