A fight for control of the city will start again after a Green Party councillor resigned.

Keith Taylor stepped down "in the interests of good governance" after taking up his seat as Member of European Parliament for the South East – the position vacated by new Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas.

His resignation will result in a by-election in St Peter and North Laine where he has served for 11 years.

It will be the first election to council since Green candidate Alex Phillips took the Goldsmid ward from the Conservatives in July last year following the resignation of Paul Lainchbury.

That by-election was dubbed the “king-maker” in that it gave both Greens and Labour 13 seats each and left the Conservatives as a minority administration.

The St Peter and North Laine by-election, which is expected at the end of June or early July, will be viewed as an opportunity for the Tories to wrestle back control of the council.

Mr Taylor has served as Green Convenor for eight years and was also a Principal Speaker for the Green Party of England and Wales between 2004 and 2006.

He said: “It's exciting to be delivering inclusive politics based on hope, around a positive vision of building a just and sustainable world. With the consistent rise in support for the Greens' message it's clear that's what people want.”

MP Caroline Lucas said: “Keith is an outstanding politician, a highly respected party member, and a good friend.

“He has served the people of Brighton and Hove with passion and commitment for many years and, as such, will bring a wealth of experience to his new role in the European Parliament.”

Councillor Amy Kennedy said a selection meeting for Green candidates would take place at Community Base in Queen's Road, on Wednesday evening.

She said: “We expect to have a few people going for the position. It is a closed local party meeting for members only. After that meeting we will take a ballot.”

Labour is also keeping tight-lipped about who will be standing on their behalf but former councillor and Labour leader Simon Burgess said he would not be standing.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, Labour leader, said: “We have started our procedures for selecting a candidate.

“During the general election campaign in Kemp Town we did attract a lot of younger people. I am sure we won't be short of a good number to choose from.”

Liberal Democrat Leader Paul Elgood said the party should know who had been selected to stand for them by Monday.

Council leader Mary Mears said the Conservatives were in the process of selecting a candidate.

She said: “We have had some very good candidates come forward and we will be in there fighting as hard as we can.”