MORE than a quarter of the city’s councillors are to step down at next year’s election, The Argus understands.

Sources close to all three Brighton and Hove parties said many long-serving politicians will not fight the May 2019 election.

Fifteen of 54 councillors are not expected to stand, including two former council leaders, made up of eight Labour councillors, five Tories, and two Greens.

Sources involved in the process said they thought one or two of the Labour councillors listed below might stand as a “paper candidate” in an unwinnable ward, but none are expected to be elected next year.

The Labour councillors are:

Kevin Allen, Preston Park.

Tom Bewick, Westbourne

Saoirse Horan, Goldsmid

Penny Gilbey, North Portslade

Mo Marsh, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean

Gill Mitchell, East Brighton

Warren Morgan, East Brighton

Caroline Penn, Hollingdean and Stanmer

The Conservative councillors are:

Denise Cobb, Westbourne

Geoffrey Theobald, Patcham

Ann Norman, Withdean

Ken Norman, Withdean

Andrew Wealls, Central Hove

The Green councillors are:

Louisa Greenbaum, St Peter’s And North Laine

Dick Page, Hanover and Elm Grove

Councillors Bewick, Greenbaum, Marsh, Morgan, Page, Penn, and Theobald have formally announced their decision. Others have been offered the chance to comment.

Council leader Councillor Dan Yates said: “I genuinely am not aware of the personal decisions of each councillor, nor their plans for the future. Each of the 54 current councillors have given sterling service to the future of this city and each one of them, whether they re-stand for election or choose to stand down should be thanked for their service.”

Noteworthy departures include recent Mayor Mo Marsh, recent council leader Warren Morgan, and former council leader, Geoffrey Theobald.

It will leave Westbourne voters with new faces to choose between, since Cllrs Bewick and Cobb are both stepping down.

And in the safe Labour ward of East Brighton, new councillor Nancy Platts looks set to be joined by two new faces who may be among the half dozen or so expected to emerge from the left wing of the party.

Formal announcements are expected in the coming weeks.


The Green Party is in the process of selecting and announcing their candidates for each ward.

The Argus understands the Conservatives have completed drawing up their list of candidates.

Selection battles for Labour seats are underway, with around 80 candidates having put their names forward.

In the Labour Party’s case the Local Campaign Forum - a city-wide organisation made up of councillors, activists, and union members - vets potential candidates.

Those who are judged eligible can then apply to a council ward to be considered as a candidate.