Labour looks for new Deputy Leader and Cabinet member after weekend of resignations

Labour is bracing itself for a reshuffle after its deputy leader, a cabinet member and four other councillors quit their posts.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 12:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 16:40 pm
Coun Olivia Blake (l) and Coun Julie Dore

Cabinet member Coun Paul Wood has quashed rumours that he will stand as deputy leader.

And Coun Julie Dore has been told to reconsider her position as leader following the six resignations in four days.

Deputy leader Coun Olivia Blake quit on Friday and sparked a series of resignations. Her husband Coun Lewis Dagnall resigned his role as cabinet member for environment, streetscene and climate change on Sunday.

He was joined by councillors Sophie Wilson and Fran Johnson, who resigned as cabinet advisors.

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On Monday, cabinet assistants and councillors Moya O’Rourke and Adam Hurst also resigned.

All six left their posts to support the It’s Our City campaign, which has seen a 26,000 name petition handed into the Town Hall.

Labour councillors select the deputy leader. Councillors will nominate themselves and the Labour group will then vote.

It’s down to leader Julie Dore to choose her cabinet so she will have the job of selecting a replacement for Coun Dagnall.

There is speculation that there may be a vote of no confidence in Coun Dore as leader.

Councillors Dagnall, Wilson and Johnson would not be drawn on this when they resigned but said they hoped Labour colleagues would ‘stand on their principles’.

One councillor, who wanted to remain anonymous and was not part of the resignations, had harsh words for Coun Dore: “This isn’t the beginning of the end for Julie, it’s the end of the end. Her awful style has alienated everybody around her, even her closest allies. It’s only a matter of time.”

Coun Paul Wood, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, quashed rumours that he would stand as deputy leader.

In an email to colleagues, which was leaked, he said: “I would like to make it very clear I will not be standing for the deputy leadership and have never had any such aspirations.

“I believe the many issues I have to deal with in my portfolio, which affect many Sheffield people, is far more important than this current disagreement between this group.”

It’s Our City campaigners want a committee system rather than a ruling cabinet and look set to force a referendum on it.