York’s Labour group has a new leader today.
Cllr Peter Kilbane has taken over from Danny Myers, following an election within the membership last night (Wednesday).
Cllr Kilbane, who represents Micklegate ward, said: “I’m honoured and proud to be leading the Labour Group and look forward to holding this administration to account, challenging corruption wherever it exists.”
He was immediately accused of being ‘far-left’ by Cllr Anne Hook, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group.
“‘Far left’ is odd way to describe someone who has set up successful small businesses and was chair of their local traders’ association,” he said.
“Residents will be aware that Lib Dem councillor Hook was part of the secret meeting that agreed to pay significant hush money to get rid of the former chief executive of the council, so it’s unsurprising to find her twisting the truth to suit the Lib Dem political agenda.
“Labour believes in an open, honest and transparent council and will work hard to clean up politics in York, and restore faith in a council whose reputation has been so badly tarnished by the actions of this Lib Dem-Green ruling administration.”
Cllr Hook said: “Following another disastrous set of elections across the country just last week, it’s surprising to see the local Labour Party elect a far-left leader, even after local and national voters have been clear in their rejection of such divisive politics.
“Whilst internal turmoil and infighting continues to be the staple of both the local and national Labour party, the Lib Dem led administration will continue to deliver for residents with progressive, constructive and sensible ideas underpinning our plans.
“Nonetheless, the Lib Dem Group would like to welcome Cllr Kilbane into his new role.
“Whilst his personal politics are far removed from the approach this administration is offering to the city, we hope he will now engage constructively on what matters to residents.”