THE CITY is set to go Green after a week of shock resignations and suspensions amid anti-Semitism accusations.

The current leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Nancy Platts, has written to her Labour councillors to tell them they are handing over power “in the interests of democracy and the city”. 

The Greens became the largest party on the council after two Labour councillors resigned yesterday.

Cllr Platts told her councillors: “Following the meeting yesterday, I approached the Green Group to offer a power sharing arrangement on the Council. The Green Group have rejected a power-sharing arrangement, so I’m writing to you to explain the next steps ahead of our meeting this evening.

The Argus:

“As you know we now have 18 Councillors and the Greens have 19.  In the interest of democracy, and in the best interests of the city, we now need to hand over the administration to the Green Party.   We will embrace opposition and take on the crucial role of standing up for local people and holding the administration to account."

Councillor Nichole Brennan quit the party yesterday evening, just hours after another Brighton and Hove City Labour councillor, Kate Knight, resigned over the sharing of alleged anti-Semitic posts.

The Argus:

Cllr Knight, left, Cllr Brennan, right

Cllr Brennan was being investigated after photos of her holding up a sign calling Israel a “racist, apartheid state” were given to The Argus. She is not suspended from the party.

Their departure comes less than a week after the Labour administration was rocked by the suspension of one of its leading councillors, Anne Pissaridou, over the sharing of allegedly anti-Semitic material on social media.

Cllr Platts email said: “It is essential that we put the needs of our residents and businesses first, not Party politics, especially during the public health crisis.   This means that we need a smooth and orderly transition, but also one that happens quickly so that there is immediate clarity about the leadership of the City.  We will play our full part in handing over and supporting the new administration to get to grips with leading the Council at such a difficult time for us all.

The Argus:

Happier times: Labour became the largest party after the 2019 local elections 

“I have asked officers to prepare a report to come to Full Council on Thursday, as the first item on the agenda. The recommendations of the report will state that the Green Group will form the administration, and the Labour Group will form the Official Opposition, with immediate effect. There will be two appendices to accompany the report, one that will name the new administration role holders (Leader and Deputy Leaders of the Council, Committee Chairs, Deputies etc.) and one that will name the new opposition spokespeople.

“I want to thank all of you for your incredibly hard work over the past year. As a Labour administration, we should be proud of our achievements since 2015 and the manifesto that we stood on in the local elections. 

"Since May 2019 we have continued to prioritise building more homes, including Council homes and set up a climate assembly to achieve our goal of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030. 

"More recently we have helped steer the city through an unprecedented public health crisis and focused our efforts on economic recovery;  backing our local businesses and supporting our most vulnerable residents, including children, those with disabilities and older people.

"Let’s not forget that by working in a constructive way with opposition groups, we have gained support for a corporate plan that puts Labour pledges into council policy, a City Plan that provides a blueprint for sustainable development in the city, and a progressive and balanced budget in difficult financial circumstances.

“We must now build on that work from opposition.”