Brighton and Hove’s new council leader Bella Sankey met Labour leader Keir Starmer to discuss plans to address the cost-of-living crisis.

Cllr Sankey met Sir Keir and other members of the Shadow Cabinet in London following the party’s landslide victory which saw Labour take control of the city council for the first time in two decades.

All Labour’s new council leaders pledged to deliver an emergency cost-of-living action plan within 100 days of taking control.

Across England, the local elections saw Labour become the largest party in local government for the first time since 2002, taking control of 22 councils and gaining more than 500 councillors.

Each new Labour council will be twinned with an existing Labour-led local authority to enable them to harness “best practice” and “quickly get a grip of the number one issue keeping people up at night”.

The Argus: Bella Sankey with Labour leader Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela RaynerBella Sankey with Labour leader Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner (Image: Labour Party)

Sir Keir said: “There is an appetite for change right across the country and what we saw last week is people looking again at Labour as the party that can deliver it.

“Our relentless focus on the number one issue keeping people up at night was because we get it.

“We understand that times are tough and prices are biting. That people are making different choices, changing their lifestyles and they’re despondent about the future.

“Labour offered a positive alternative and people have given us their trust. It’s now our duty to not waste a day in delivering on the Labour commitment to ease the squeeze on people’s pockets.

“Where Labour is in power, we deliver. We make fair choices for working people and their families and we improve lives.

“I’m proud of the gains we made last week but that pride will now fuel our impatient pursuit of change.

“We have a chance to make things just that bit better for people and to show that Labour can not only improve communities but that we have the plans to change the country.”


Sir Keir said he would work with Labour councils to ease the burden of the cost of living and “support people’s aspirations”.

“Our new leaders will review their inheritance and pull every lever possible to relieve the intolerable burden that this government has placed on working people,” he said.

“It’s time for change and Labour will make that change happen.”

The Argus:

Sir Keir also promised a Labour government “won’t abandon the ambitions of Generation Rent” and would introduce ambitious targets for building affordable homes.

As part of that promise to voters, Labour’s new council leaders will review housing and development plans they have inherited to ensure they meet local needs.

The general election is expected to take place in the autumn of next year, with Labour looking to gain seats in Worthing, Crawley and Hastings to pave a path to Number 10.