Brighton has gone Green after Labour lost its status as the largest party amid anti-Semitism claims.
The Green group officially took over power on Thursday evening at a time when the city faces a loss of up to £39 million as a result of coronavirus.
New council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty said the outlook for local government in the UK “has never been bleaker” but said his party “stand ready to serve the city”.
The change in political control follows the resignation of two members of the council’s Labour group and the suspension of another from the party.
A privilege to be heading up such a brilliant team https://t.co/vvlDe7z0sQ— Cllr PhÃ©lim Mac Cafferty (@Phelimmac) July 23, 2020
The Green group holds 19 of the seats on Brighton & Hove City Council, with the Labour group now on 18.
The East Sussex city hosted the Labour Party annual conference in 2019.
Speaking at a full council meeting on Thursday evening, Mr Mac Cafferty warned of a “massive hole” in the city’s budget.
He began by paying tribute to the people who have died in the city as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
He continued: “We owe it to the memory of each of them to use the coming period to work in as unified a fashion as possible.
“There is a massive hole in the budget. Estimates of loss to our city currently range from £17m and £39m.
“But if there’s one thing I know about the special place we all call home, it is the city’s creativity, ingenuity and flair.
“If there is a place that can respond to this crisis, it’s Brighton and Hove.”