I’m sure most of you who read this column will be expecting me to have something to say about the outcome of the election, and I’m not going to disappoint you.
I’m delighted that the city now has two Labour MPs, with Peter Kyle elected with an extraordinary majority in Hove and Portslade, and my council colleague Lloyd Russell-Moyle taking Brighton Kemptown with nearly 10,000 votes more than Conservative incumbent Simon Kirby. Although I would also like to recognise Caroline Lucas’ re-election, there was continuing strong support for Labour in Brighton Pavilion.
As a result of the efforts of hundreds of members, supporters and the campaign teams, Labour won more than half of the total number of votes cast across Brighton and Hove, with many voters clearly inspired by the positive and human campaign from Jeremy Corbyn, and many turned off by the negative Conservative campaign. Labour had a manifesto offering hope on many issues important to residents like rail, schools funding and housing, and I would like to feel that the work we are doing leading the city council added to the residents’ confidence when casting their vote.
Despite the very impressive gains made by Labour, at the time of writing it still looks likely the Conservatives will form another Government with the support of the Democratic Unionists from Northern Ireland. However this severely weakened Conservative government will face a strong and determined Labour opposition, because the election results show the Conservatives are no longer trusted with Brexit or our public services.
As a local Labour council we will use our strengthened voice in Westminster speaking through our two Labour MPs to get the best possible deal for Brighton and Hove. We will press on, delivering on the same issues that were highlighted in our national manifesto, like building affordable homes and new council houses, helping people who rent, making sure we have the jobs, school places and health services that people need, and protecting the most vulnerable in society. It will remain our priority that everyone can benefit from our local economy, not just a few.
Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton & Hove City Council.