A FORMER council leader has his sights set on the European Parliament.

Warren Morgan, who led Brighton and Hove City Council for three years, has announced his intention to stand for Change UK in next month’s European elections.

Mr Morgan quit the Labour Party in February and formed a new Independent Group with fellow councillor Michael Inkpin-Leissner.

Now he has said he will not seek re-election to the council and hopes to stand for the European Parliament as part of Change UK, linked to The Independent Group, on May 23.

Mr Morgan said: “I announced a year ago that I would be standing down as a councillor rather than seeking reselection by the Labour Party.

“It was clear they did not wish me to continue to represent them and because of the positions on anti-Semitism and Brexit I no longer wish to represent the Labour Party.

“I believe that with both main parties being taken over by their more extreme wings, it is time to change politics for the better.

“In the past I had considered standing at some stage for election as an MEP rather than an MP, so now that the opportunity has arisen I am applying to be a Change UK candidate for the South East region.”

If Mr Morgan was chosen as a candidate for the pro-EU party and successfully voted in, he would only be an MEP until October 31, when the UK is currently set to leave the EU.

But, if elected, he hopes to serve in the European Parliament for much longer.

“I hope that we revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit before October, either as a result of a decision in Parliament or as the result of a People’s Vote on any proposed deal,” he said.

“I would simply do my very best every day for as long as I was in the job, whether it was four weeks or four years.

“I’d apply the same principles I applied as council leader: putting people and communities first, solving problems by listening and innovating, making decisions based on evidence rather than ideology, and being honest and transparent in my actions as an elected public servant.”

Mr Morgan also said he believed the actions of other MEPs such as Nigel Farage has created a “Brexit mess”.

He said: “The work of MEPs and the European Parliament is not very well understood by the public, which is one of the reasons we are in this Brexit mess.

“The actions, or rather inaction, of some like Nigel Farage have not helped.”

Though he admitted he would face “stiff competition” to be nominated by Change UK, he said he would back whichever candidate was chosen.

He said: “They may well select others to stand from different backgrounds and with different experience.

“There will be stiff competition for places which demonstrates the broad and substantial support the Independent Group is drawing from people outside of politics as well as from both main parties.

“I will support whoever is chosen.”