A FORMER leader has said he is “ashamed” after the suspension of a fellow Labour councillor. 

Councillor Daniel Yates, who stepped down as Brighton and Hove City Council leader in May last year, announced the “city deserves better” after it was revealed a leading council member was suspended over alleged anti-Semitism.

Councillor Anne Pissaridou is under investigation by the national Labour Party over posts she shared which are alleged to contain anti-Semitic content. 

“However it’s also true that words alone cannot address the difficult issues with proper action. 

“Today I am again ashamed of being a Labour city councillor.

“This makes being a politician an impossible task and brings shame on us all.

“I can only apologise for the hurt fear and betrayal these actions have caused those who we seek to represent and support. There is no action I can take to undo this. 

“But I am and will continue to ask those with the power to act to do so. Our city deserves so much better.”

As Cllr Pissaridou cannot currently attend Labour group meetings or represent the party, the Labour group no longer has the majority of council seats on Brighton and Hove City Council. 

The former chairwoman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee will represent her constituents as an independent councillor until the issue is resolved.

Cllr Pissaridou said: “I am deeply sorry for my actions and any distress I have caused to the Jewish community.

“This happened several years ago, before I was a councillor, and the posts I shared do not reflect my views. 

“I do not seek to excuse my mistake. I deeply regret not properly reading information before sharing such hurtful links. 

“I am aware of the complaint that has been made to the Labour Party and will fully co-operate with any investigation.”