Wales politics

'No need' to quit says Cardiff council leader Phil Bale

Phil Bale
Image caption Phil Bale survived a Labour leadership challenge in 2015

Cardiff's Labour council leader Phil Bale has said he has "no need" to resign after councillor resignations cut his working majority to three.

Mr Bale said he was the "right person to take the city forward".

"There's no need for me to resign...I'm very committed to the role," he said.

Two councillors quit the Labour group over two days, and there have been accusations of bullying and racism within Cardiff Labour. Mr Bale said the allegations were being investigated.

One senior Labour source familiar with the group has called for him to resign from his post.

Mr Bale said on Thursday there was no suggestion that there would be more councillors quitting.

The council leader said that if any issues like racism were found to have taken place "then action would be taken".

He said: "We have a majority on Cardiff council, you can run a council with that majority.

"Indeed many councils run councils without a majority very successfully."

Mr Bale said that he did not accept that his group was in crisis.

"If you judge my record on results you've seen a significant development in Cardiff over the last few years," he said.

Both of the councillors who resigned this week had made allegations against the Cardiff Labour group.

He said accusations made by Manzoor Ahmed and Susan White - who had both resigned from the group this week - would be investigated.

"I want to reiterate we take any accusation of bullying very seriously," he said, saying he had "no tolerance for that kind of behaviour".

Image copyright M J Richardson/Geograph
Image caption Labour now has a majority of three at Cardiff county hall

A senior Labour figure said: "Phil needs to resign. He has to. He cannot lead."

The source called for Welsh Labour to intervene: "The group is collapsing."

Expressing concern the group will get "hammered" at the May council elections, the source said the group could be heading towards a situation where it cannot get its budget through.

"Our majority is three. We have got... members who are not standing again. The whip cannot have much influence over them."

"I would not be surprised if more people resigned," he said.

"But neither would I be surprised if more emerges in terms of the culture that the leader presides over".

'Got to get a hold on it'

Another Labour source familiar with the group said: "Somebody has got to get a hold on it. Phil has to get a hold on it.

"He's lost authority within the group.

"I think he really needs to consider his position."

Welsh Labour has already said it is holding an investigation into allegations made by Susan White.

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