Yesterday was the Portsmouth City Council Annual General Meeting (AGM), where important decisions were made about the future council leadership. As no party had enough councillors to form a majority, and to prevent the authority falling into Tory control, Portsmouth Labour Councillors voted in favour of the Liberal Democrats continuing to run Portsmouth City Council.
Prior to the decision-making meeting on Tuesday 18 May, your Portsmouth Labour Councillors had entered into discussions with the Liberal Democrat Group as to the future of the council leadership.
Unfortunately, despite the Labour Group attempting to start on a positive footing with the Liberal Democrats and in the spirit of cross-party working, Labour had no response.
Leader of the Portsmouth Labour Group, Councillor George Fielding said: “Today, Labour Councillors acted in our city’s best interests. We prevented the Tories from running the council, instead voting in favour of the Liberal Democrats. However, we are incredibly disappointed that the Liberal Democrats refused to agree to cross-party working on a number of key issues that residents told us were important to them.
“To make matters worse, during Gerald Vernon-Jackson’s speech for leader, underhanded comments were made about Labour. This went against our wishes, and that of the public, for less gutter politics and more collaborative working in the interests of our city.
“Despite this, Portsmouth Labour Councillors will continue to push the Liberal Democrat administration to be bolder on the big issues. We will continue to work with residents, businesses, community groups and trade unions to secure a greener, more sustainable and equal future for Portsmouth.”