THE newly-elected leader of the Brighton and Hove Labour minority administration has promised to win a majority at next year’s city council elections.

On Monday night the AGM of Brighton and Hove Labour Councillors elected Dan Yates, Councillor for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, to lead the administration.

Cllr Yates, who was first elected to the council three years ago, takes over from Cllr Warren Morgan has had led the party since 2013 and announced his resignation last month.

The meeting also re-appointed Cllr Gill Mitchell as deputy leader.

Forty-year council veteran Cllr Les Hamilton was reappointed as deputy leader (finance), beating new East Brighton Councillor Nancy Platts in a secret ballot.

One Labour councillor told The Argus: “I hope it wasn’t close.”

But another said: “It is disappointing that Cllr Platts was not elected as the lead on finance.

“Clearly some colleagues felt this represented the beginnings of a hard left Momentum takeover of the group.

“But the brutal truth is that Cllr Hamilton is past his prime, does pretty much what the officers tell him, and the new leader would have been better served if Nancy had secured the role.”

After his victory Councillor Yates said: “It is a massive honour to be asked to take on this crucial role for the party and for the city at such a crucial time.

“The challenges that this Council faces from ongoing Tory government cuts to funding and increasing demand for services for the most vulnerable should not be underestimated, but we have the determination to continue to deliver for local people, to improve our city and make it a place where people want to live and work.”

He said the 2019 manifesto would be developed over the coming months “to help us take majority control of the city council next May, for the first time in nearly 20 years.

“For May 2019 we will have a new manifesto that every community across the whole city will be able to support and, with our record Party membership, we know we have the talent and the numbers to gain the council majority to help us deliver on it.”

He paid tribute to the leadership of his predecessor.

Cllr Morgan described Cllr Yates as “someone with strong co-operative values [who] brings a wealth of experience to the role, including chairing the health and wellbeing board for the past three years.

“I wish him the very best as leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, one of the best jobs in city politics.”