Labour members "vote against joining George Ferguson's cabinet"
Members of the Bristol Labour Party have voted against joining new mayor George Ferguson's cabinet, ThisisBristol understands.
At a meeting held last night the Bristol Labour Party discussed whether to ban its members from joining his administration.
Unless Labour members ignore the result of the vote, Mr Ferguson's vision of a rainbow cabinet to run Bristol could be scuppered.
Bristol Labour Party chairman Darren Lewis told ThisisBristol this morning that he couldn't comment on what was said at last night's meeting about joining Mr Ferguson's cabinet.
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But a Labour source has confirmed that the party voted against taking up the three seats offered to them.
The source said that there was "some confusion" at the end of the meeting about the vote.
At last night's meeting members were asked to vote on the motion: "No Labour MP, councillor, PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate), council candidate, officer of either CLPs (Constituency Labour Parties) or the BLP (Bristol Labour Party) or members shall sit in the cabinet of George Ferguson, act as an advisor to George Ferguson or allow themselves as being described as acting as an advisor to George Ferguson."
Before the meeting, a source told The Post that if the motion was passed, it could "tie the hands" of Labour councillors by ordering them not to co-operate with Mr Ferguson. And he said if the councillors refused to abide by the veto it would be referred to the Labour Party nationally.
Mr Ferguson is expected to name a cross-party cabinet next week and Labour city councillors expressed their willingness to work with him in an amicable first full council meeting of his tenure on Tuesday.
Labour leader Peter Hammond said at Tuesday's council meeting: "We will, along with you, continue to work in the best interests of the people of Bristol because, after all, that is the role ascribed to the mayor, as it is for local councillors."
On the possibility of Labour councillors in Bristol taking places in George Ferguson's Cabinet, a Labour South West spokesperson said today:
"The appropriate procedures are being followed and a decision will be made in good time as to whether Labour councillors in Bristol take up places in Mayor Ferguson's Cabinet."