Cllr Gill Williams (Deputy), Cllr Bella Sankey (Leader), Cllr Jacob Taylor (Finance)
Cllr Gill Williams (Deputy), Cllr Bella Sankey (Leader), Cllr Jacob Taylor (Finance)

The Brighton & Hove Labour Group have elected their new team to lead the council, following Labour’s historic victory in last week’s local elections that saw them form the first overall majority administration in the City for over two decades, winning 38 seats.

Labour have chosen Wish ward Councillor Bella Sankey to be their leader, and their nomination for new Leader of the Council. Bella was born in raised in Brighton & Hove, is a local Mum of two, and a former director of a charity supporting refugees.

Last night, Labour also elected their deputy leaders.

Whitehawk & Marina Councillor Gill Williams has been elected as Deputy Leader, and Moulsecoomb & Bevendean Councillor Jacob Taylor has been elected as Finance Lead.

Gill brings a lot of experience to the role of deputy, having served as Chair of the Housing Committee in the last Labour administration and overseeing the ‘Everyone In’ policy that got all rough sleepers into safe accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has championed the need for landlord-licensing, protecting renters and requiring developers to build first – not second – homes. She lectures at the University of Sussex, and helped set up the East Brighton Food Co-op.

Jacob works in financial services, so was ideally equipped to take on the role of the group’s finance lead. He grew up in Brighton & Hove and is a young father now raising his family here. He attended Longhill High School where he now serves as a governor on the Personnel & Finance Committee.

In addition, Cllr Les Hamilton was re-elected as Labour Group Chair, Cllr Paul Nann was elected as Deputy Chair, Cllr Jilly Stevens as Group Secretary, Cllr Joy Robinson as Group Treasurer, Cllr Amanda Grimshaw as Chief Whip, and Cllrs John Hewitt and Jacob Allen as Deputy Whips.

Labour leader, Cllr Bella Sankey said:

“I am thrilled that Cllr Williams and Cllr Taylor have been elected as our Deputy Leader and Finance Lead respectively. Cllr Williams has transformative ideas for housing in our City, she has championed the need for landlord-licensing, social and supported home-building and requiring developers to build first – not second – homes.

“Equally, Cllr Taylor is a superb choice to lead our City through stormy financial headwinds. His outstanding financial experience, deep knowledge of our City and commitment to social justice means we could not be in better hands.”

Labour’s deputy leader, Cllr Gill Williams said:

“I am honoured to be taking on the role of Deputy Leader, and I am delighted to support our fantastic leader Bella in her duties.

“I cannot wait to get started on helping to deliver on our manifesto pledges.”

Labour’s finance lead, Cllr Jacob Taylor said:

“I’m delighted to have been chosen as Labour’s finance lead and am looking forward to working with Bella and Gill to implement our programme for the city.

“Local government finances are in a challenging position all over the country, and that includes Brighton & Hove.

“I hope to use my professional experience to help better manage the city’s resources and deliver the basic services that Brighton & Hove residents so desperately need.”

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