Friday, February 28

Brighton council leader to face former deputy in Green election

- March 12, 2014

Rebel Greens are plotting yet another way to oust Brighton and Hove council leader Jason Kitcat – with his former deputy announcing he will stand against him in the party’s annual elections.

A year after fending of a similar threat, the elected head of Brighton and Hove City Council is facing more unrest within his own party.

Former deputy council leader Phelim MacCafferty has confirmed he will stand against Cllr Kitcat in the vote to be the group’s convenor – and de facto council leader.

It comes after a group of rebels failed in their attempt to change the way the convenor of the Green group on the local authority is elected.

A motion was due to be discussed at a party meeting at the end of last month.

But The Latest understands the motion was postponed due to the council’s budget needing more time to be discussed.

However, sources claim it will be brought back at a future date with the intention of changing the rules for a future election.

In the more immediate future, Cllr MacCafferty will stand against Cllr Kitcat in the 2014/15 vote – the year before the local elections.

It was confirmed as ballot papers were sent out to local members this week with the result of the vote expected in a few weeks.

Cllr MacCafferty and Cllr Kitcat did not provide any comment on the issue.

But senior Green Party figures said it was unlikely that the former would receive enough votes to oust the current council leader.

One town hall source questioned why anyone would want to take up the mantle a year before the elections.

It comes a year after Cllr MacCafferty ducked out of standing against Cllr Kitcat to be convenor.

This was despite the ward councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide displaying public disloyalty by addressing striking bin men outside Brighton Town Hall as Cllr Kitcat was inside defending the council’s plan to change their pay.

When Cllr MacCafferty refused to stand in the internal vote, rebels voted to re-open nominations rather than support the council leader.

But Cllr Kitcat was re-elected narrowly with the overall support of both his council colleagues and wider local party.

To see a video report of this story, follow this link.

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