Labour have elected a new leadership team as they take the reins of the city council.

The party secured its first majority on Brighton and Hove City Council for two decades after electing 38 councillors across the city.

Bella Sankey, Labour councillor for Wish ward, was elected party leader last week and will serve as the new leader of the city council.

At a meeting of the party last night, Labour elected Whitehawk and Marina councillor Gill Williams as the deputy leader.

Cllr Williams chaired the council’s housing committee in the last Labour administration and oversaw the Everyone In policy that ensured all rough sleepers had safe accommodation during the pandemic.

She also has championed the need for landlord licensing and protecting renters in the city.

Cllr Williams said: “I am honoured to be taking on the role of deputy leader and I am delighted to support our fantastic leader Bella in her duties.

“I cannot wait to get started on helping to deliver our manifesto pledges.”


Moulsecoomb and Bevendean councillor Jacob Taylor was elected as the party’s finance lead and said he was looking forward to implementing Labour’s programme for the city.

He said: “Local government finances are in a challenging position all over the country and that includes Brighton and Hove.

“I hope to use my professional experience in the  financial services sector to help better manage the city’s resources and deliver the basic services that Brighton and Hove residents so desperately need.”

Cllr Les Hamilton was re-elected as the group’s chairman with Wish ward councillor Paul Nann elected as deputy chairman.

Newly elected Brunswick and Adelaide councillor Jilly Stevens will now serve as group secretary with Cllr Joy Robinson as group treasurer, Cllr Amanda Grimshaw as chief whip, and Councillors John Hewitt and Jacob Allen as deputy whips.

The Argus:

Cllr Sankey said: “I am thrilled that Cllr Williams and Cllr Taylor have been elected as our deputy leader and finance lead respectively.

“Cllr Williams has transformative ideas for housing in our city, she has championed the need for landlord licensing, social and supported home-building and requiring developers to build first, not second, homes.

“Equally, Cllr Taylor is a superb choice to lead our city through stormy financial headwinds. His outstanding financial experience, deep knowledge of our city and commitment to social justice means we could not be better hands.”