Labour and Conservative resignations

Wollaston faces by-election calls after quitting Tories

Chris Quevatre

BBC News Online

The MP for Totnes is facing calls for a by-election after she left the Conservatives to become an independent.

Sarah Wollaston
BBC

Sarah Wollaston, now a member of the recently-formed Independent Group of MPs, quit her party over Brexit, but the Labour Party in the constituency said that, in 2011, she supported a bill which said if an MP defected there should automatically be a by-election.

Lynn Alderson - the chair of the Labour Party in Totnes and South Devon - said Ms Wollaston "made her views clear".

In 2011 she co-sponsored a bill that would have made it mandatory for anyone who changed party to face a by-election. We think that we should have a by-election. We think there's a whole range of other policies here - it's not just about Brexit.

Lynn AldersonChair of the Labour Party in Totnes and South Devon

Dr Wollaston said that once the Independent Group was able to form a party with "policies we can put to people, that's the point where MPs should be challenged about whether we put that to the electorate".

Balancing the books, upsetting the balance of power?

Ben Weisz

Political reporter, BBC Sussex

On the face of it, tonight's about a Labour council balancing its books - making £12m savings and raising an extra £46 a year from the average taxpayer.

But in Brighton, nothing's ever that simple.

We've talked plenty about why local councils everywhere are having to make these savings- which in Brighton could include cuts to libraries and sexual health services, among other things.

But no single party has a majority of councillors - meaning compromise will be needed to get anything passed.

What you see in the budget plans almost certainly isn't what you'll get by the end of the evening.

That was always going to be the case - but the atmosphere has been doubly charged by the upcoming elections, and the departure of two councillors from the Labour group last week.

The Conservatives are now the largest party, and next week, they'll try to take control of the council.

Privately, some Green and Labour councillors are keen to stop that happening - though aren't yet sure exactly how.

For tonight, if Labour can give enough ground to the Greens to win their backing, that'd be enough to pass the Budget.

But if it isn't, then next Tuesday's council meeting could see both more Budget wranglings and a messy tussle over who runs the council. All just weeks before an election.

Never a dull day.