Labour leader Keir Starmer said Brighton residents are “fed up” with how Green councillors have run the city and urged them to vote to “build a better Brighton”.

Several members of the shadow cabinet, including Emily Thornberry, Steve Reed and Rachel Reeves, have visited the city in recent weeks to back Labour’s campaign to win overall control of Brighton and Hove City Council tomorrow.

In an exclusive interview with The Argus, Sir Keir said he has hopes the party can make progress in the city on May 4.

He said: “I think people are really fed up with how the Greens have run the council. You can see that in the everyday challenges people face.

“You’ve got to get the basics right and that’s a matter of respect for local communities. The Greens appear to be all over the place on this.

“I think there is a sense in the air in Brighton that we can’t go on like this, it’s not good enough and things have got to change.”


Among the issues Labour is putting front and centre in the campaign is the cost of living, with the party committing to introducing an “effective tax” on oil and gas firms to help people across the city and the country with their bills.

He said: “Part of the reason we are seeing a positive readout on the doorstep is that we have got a lot to say about the thing that matters most to people which is how to make ends meet and how to pay the bills.

“The fair thing to do is to have an effective tax on those oil and gas companies and use it to directly help people with their bills.”

The party has also committed to introducing a renters’ charter to give more rights to those in the private rental sector.

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Sir Keir said: “People are paying higher and higher prices for less and less good quality accommodation so we’d build more housing and also provide more protection for renters.”

At last year’s local election Worthing flipped to Labour for the first time in history with the party gaining six seats.

Sir Keir said: “I went down to Worthing a number of times and I was very pleased by the result last year. There was a feeling of positivity in the air that I can feel in Brighton and Hove now.”

He is hopeful the party will make gains in other parts of Sussex that are also going to the polls.

The Argus:

In a message directly to undecided voters, Sir Keir said: “Vote Labour to build a better Brighton.”

Residents go to the polls across the city and most of Sussex on Thursday to elect 54 councillors for the next four years.

Voters are required to show a form of photo ID at polling stations on election day in order to cast their ballot.