A politician who was once suspended for using Nazi-era language to describe the administration led by Jewish ex-council leader Rodney Berman is set to become deputy leader of Cardiff council.
Trowbridge ward member Ralph Cook was elected by fellow Labour councillors as deputy leader of the party’s Labour group in the capital following the party’s decisive local election victory last week.
Coun Cook’s choice for the key role was made despite a series of controversial remarks during his stint as Labour group leader. He last night vowed there would be no “mishaps” in the new role.
He was suspended from the council for two months in November 2010 after he compared Jewish ex-council leader Rodney Berman’s coalition administration to Hitler’s Nazi regime.
The furore resulted in the 53-year-old being released from his post as Labour group leader to fight to restore his reputation.
Coun Cook last night said he was “honoured and surprised” to be elected as deputy Labour group leader.
He said: “I am very pleased that members of the very large group as it is now have placed their faith in me.
“I am also aware that I need to ensure that there are no mishaps – I have to be careful about that sort of thing.”
Coun Cook was elected when all 46 of the party’s councillors met at County Hall on Friday evening.
It is understood about five Labour councillors put themselves forward for council deputy leadership, which comes with a £22,670 special allowance.
Coun Cerys Furlong was elected as group chief whip, while previous whip Russell Goodway became treasurer.
And Llanrumney councillor Derrick Morgan secured Coun Furlong’s previous position of chair, while newly-elected councillor Keith Jones became group secretary.
Council leader Heather Joyce is expected to announce her cabinet team at the weekend, ahead of a party group meeting on Monday to elect chairs of council committees and other civic positions.
She will meet with councillors on a one-to-one basis this week to discuss the executive appointments.
Coun Joyce is also considering appointing councillors to new deputy cabinet roles as a means of building her team’s knowledge and experience.
Labour’s Cardiff council cabinet – including the deputy leader role – will be formally approved when the newly elected full council meet for the first time next Thursday.
Meanwhile, Lib Dem councillors who survived their drubbing at the polls, met at City Hall last night to appoint a new group leader.
Pentwyn councillor Judith Woodman became temporary group leader in accordance with standing orders after former council leader Rodney Berman’s failure to retain his Plasnewydd seat.