This afternoon five years of Labour minority control in Brighton and Hove comes to an end, with the return of the Greens to power after three Labour councillors, all elected on a Momentum slate, were suspended or resigned following antisemitic social media posts. Two other Momentum-backed candidates didn’t even make it to polling day last year, several others lost Labour-won seats back to the Greens (see previous blog post).
It took eight years of hard work to return Labour to office in Brighton and Hove, and less than three for Momentum to throw it away with petty factionalism and vendettas.
They still control the CLPs and LCF, with at least one officer a former TUSC candidate in 2015 who lost a seat in 2019.
They still enjoy the tacit support of the Kemptown MP.
They still make up the majority of Labour opposition spokespersons on the now Green-led committees than run the council in the absence of a Cabinet.
They still fill the online space around Brighton Labour with bile and betrayal.
No humility, shame or contrition, despite the departure of councillors, despite the multiple suspensions, despite the loss of office, despite yesterday’s events in the High Court.
In the past Labour HQ had had to intervene in Brighton when entryism and the Left brought the Party into disrepute. Momentum believed this couldn’t happen all the time they were protected by Corbynite control at the top of the Party.
Now Labour is, as Sir Keir Starmer said yesterday, “under new management”, they are no longer immune, and action should surely go further than individual suspensions if Labour is ever to return to a leadership role in our city.