Former council leader Warren Morgan quits Labour Party

The former leader of Brighton and Hove City Council has quit the Labour Party today (February 22).

Cllr Warren Morgan has quit the Labour Party
Cllr Warren Morgan has quit the Labour Party

He blamed 'Brexit, antisemitism and the toxic culture of aggression and bullying within the Party'.

Cllr Warren Morgan, who represents East Brighton. served as council leader for three years before stepping down last year.

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He was the local Labour leader for five, and a councillor for East Brighton for 15 years, but confirmed last year that he would not be standing for re-election in May 2019.

The move comes after Cllr Anne Meadows, a councillor for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, quit Labour to join the Conservatives this week.

It was a move which could cost Labour control of the council.

On Facebook today, Cllr Morgan said: "This morning, after more than 27 years as a member, I have submitted my resignation from the Labour Party to the General Secretary Jennie Formby, citing Brexit, antisemitism and the toxic culture of aggression and bullying within the Party and the broader Corbyn-supporting base.

"Under Party and council rules, I am not able to continue to be a member of the Labour and Cooperative Group on Brighton and Hove City Council, however I will continue to vote with them in next week Budget and any votes tabled by the Conservative aimed at taking control. I'd like to be very clear that I have no issues with the Labour Group or leadership and fully support the valued colleagues I have worked with over many years in such difficult circumstances.

"I still believe I have something to offer in terms of public service to the city and local politics, but in future I want to use my energies in a positive way, not in fighting internal party battles."

Cllr Daniel Yates, Labour leader of the council, said: "It was with great sadness that I have listened to Warren’s reasons for leaving the Labour Party. On a personal basis I have known Warren as a tireless and principled Labour campaigner, activist and politician over the last 20 years.

"He was the guiding power behind, and leading, our successful 2015 local election campaign in the city, and led the city council’s Labour Administration with vigour and enthusiasm for three years.

"Clearly, since developments within the Party nationally and locally, Warren has felt challenged that the values and principles of the Party no longer aligned with his own.

"On tackling antisemitism, and on other important matters, Warren was a strong and brave leader demonstrating many characteristics which all Leaders and public figures would do well to emulate.

"Although I have differences now with Warren over how best to continue to deliver for people in the city and country through the political process, I still count Warren as friend and thank him for his hard work delivering Labour promises and the values and principles of our movement, during his time in the Party.

"I wish him all the best for the future, and am pleased that he has signalled that he intends to support our budget and our administration, albeit from an independent group."