LABOUR councillors have slammed the “rude and dismissive” behaviour of Green councillors during a meeting to decide the future of a controversial cycle lane.

A letter by the party claims councillors from the Green administration aimed “ugly remarks and personal attacks” at Labour members following a meeting of the environment, transport and sustainability committee in July.

Councillor Gary Wilkinson, Labour’s environment, transport and sustainability spokesman, penned the letter to the committee over the “truly unacceptable” remarks and calling for an apology.

He said: “From taking and sharing unsolicited photos from within the council chamber alongside misleading captions, to accusing my Labour colleagues and I of having ‘no integrity’, I have been truly shocked by the behaviour of some of my Green colleagues.”

He added that such actions acted as a “greenlight” for people on social media, and said he has been inundated with abuse since the meeting.

The letter, in particular, highlighted the behaviour of Green councillor Amy Heley, chair of the committee, describing her as “rude and dismissive to opposition councillors and members of the public.”

“In all my years of working in and following local government, I’ve never known a committee chair to conduct themselves or a meeting in the manner you did that day,” the letter added.

The criticism of Cllr Heley comes after she described Labour’s stance on the removal of the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane as “full of hypocrisy” and opposition to the controversial lane as “shameful” in a later meeting last month.

Cllr Wilkinson described the remarks as “truly unacceptable” and called upon the Green administration to apologise.

He said: “Our city deserves a more grown-up and mature politics.

“When we fail to lead by example here on the council and fan the flames of division, we set a negative tone for the citywide debate on these crucial issues, seeing motorists pitted against cyclists and pedestrians, and none of the above benefitting.”

The meeting in July centred around the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane, with Labour and the Conservatives voting for its removal. The meeting saw fiery exchanges between the Greens, who wanted to keep the lane, and Labour councillors who voted for it to be scrapped.

Conservative councillor and Brighton party spokesman on environment, transport and sustainability Robert Nemeth joined calls for "grown-up debate" and said: "Numerous extremist Green and Labour cycling fanatics have damaged the cycling cause by regularly making obnoxious comments online and in council meetings.

"As a cyclist, this bothers me hugely as it turns the public at large against cycling."

The Green group have said they are disappointed that Cllr Wilkinson chose not to go through the council's process for managing disputes with his concerns.

In a joint statement, they said: "It is disappointing Councillor Wilkinson has not chosen to go through this process which is open to him should he feel fault has occurred.

"This process enables a fair discussion of the issues, but Cllr Wilkinson has instead opted to issue an open letter."

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