A SERIES of online abuse and smear campaigns aimed at the leader of the city council led to him announcing his resignation.

Labour councillor Warren Morgan has revealed he struggled to deal with accusations made in blogs and on social media that he had lied, after announcing last month that he would be stepping down as leader of Brighton and Hove City Council in May.

Speaking to The Times, Cllr Morgan said: “You don’t come into politics expecting an easy ride.

“You expect some harsh treatment and to an extent you have to let it wash over you.”

He said “regular accusations” made online that he had lied were tough to cope with at the time.

After feeling like he was being targeted online, Cllr Morgan said he has been avoiding certain blogs and has taken measures to block some social media pages.

The 50-year-old councillor came under fire from some Labour members after he voiced his criticism of party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Allegations were made that antisemitism was present within the party at Labour’s annual conference in Brighton last September, with Cllr Morgan warning that the party would not be able to return to the city unless it resolved such attitudes.

Left-wingers called for his resignation after he issued the warning, further aggravating tensions.

Cllr Morgan added: “In a way the personal grudges, factional rivalries and union involvement could be seen as a reflection of what is happening in Labour nationally.”

Calls were also made for him to resign by GMB Sussex branch secretary Mark Turner, who sought to end plans for the management of the Royal Pavilion to be merged into a trust.

The plans have now been postponed after the union met with the council to raise the concerns of its members.

He also said other members of the Labour group in the city felt more could be achieved with current funding levels in the face of heavy Government cuts.

His supporters voiced their concerns at the way he has been treated by his critics.

Momentum activists welcomed his resignation, taking the view that the Labour group in the city could now seek a candidate more in line with the party’s national leadership.

Cllr Morgan will serve as leader until the annual council meeting in May and will not seek re-election in April.