Labour WILL join George Ferguson's cabinet after all
Bristol's Labour party has made an apparent u-turn on joining new mayor George Ferguson's cabinet.
On Wednesday night members of the Labour party in the city voted against joining the cabinet - but last night after the public expressed their disappointment at that vote, the city's Labour councillors decided to go against that vote.
A Labour source contacted ThisisBristol this morning about the move - and then live on Radio Bristol Labour leader Peter Hammond told George Ferguson about what had happened.
Yesterday ThisisBristol reported that Labour party members had voted against joining Mr Ferguson's "rainbow cabinet".
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Dozens of people commented on the story saying they were disappointed with the decision.
Mr Hammond revealed live on air this morning: "The Labour councillors have examined all the evidence that we have got.
"We have been listening to what the people of Bristol have been saying.
"They have taken the view that the Labour party should participate in George Ferguson's cabinet.
"We have agreed that we will be participating in George Ferguson's cabinet. The decision was taken last night."
This was news to Mr Ferguson.
He said: "That's really good news for Bristol. I hope that we work together for Bristol's good. I know there are some good people you [Labour] can provide for the cabinet."
Mr Ferguson revealed that he had asked Labour councillor and former leader of the council Helen Holland to be deputy mayor.
He has also asked Labour councillor Mark Bradshaw to come on board and focus on transport.
A third seat will go to a Labour councillor - but Mr Ferguson has asked the party to come up with a shortlist of possible candidates to fill it.
ThisisBristol understands that Labour councillors met on Monday night to discuss joining the cabinet, but had deferred their decision to the end of the week.
A Labour source told ThisisBristol that the vote by Labour party members on Wednesday was advisory only - and that when councillors met again last night they decided they did not agree with the way the vote had gone.