THE leader of Swansea's Labour group resigned yesterday after the party fell from power in the city for the first time in 28 years.
Lawrence Bailey, also this year's Lord Mayor, accused Liberal Democrats of the "politics of spite" by refusing to enter into a partnership with Labour.
The 19 Welsh Liberal Democrats on Swansea City and County Council are instead seeking an alliance with 11 independents and four conservatives, giving the new grouping a majority over Labour.
The new leader of the authority could be current Liberal Democrat leader Chris Holley possibly with an independent councillor as deputy.
Yesterday, Mr Bailey made it clear that a "celebration night" held in the Swansea Lord Mayor's plush Mansion House last Saturday for Labour candidates in last Thursday's election was not held at public expense.
He said that City and County of Swansea Labour group funds were used to pay for food and drink at the bash.
Swansea Liberal Democrat councillor and South West Wales AM Peter Black said yesterday however he did not feel the mansion house should be used for individual political parties.
Mr Bailey said he tried to get alternative venues for the evening at the Swansea's Grand Theatre and at the George Hall, but these were booked.
Independent Swansea councillor Ioan Richard said yesterday, "They would not have needed stuffing with their meat - they had enough of that from the electorate last Thursday."
Negotiations have been going on furiously in political circles in Swansea in the past few days.
Independent councillors have been offered chairmanship of committees and other concessions to get them "onside". But a Liberal Democrat alliance with the Conservatives and Independents now seems certain.
Plaid members, who also increased their number on the authority following the election, plan to vote on issues "on their merit".
Announcing his resignation yesterday, Mr Bailey said the action by the Liberal Democrats, Independents and Conservatives was "both regrettable and short-sighted".
He said, "It runs contrary to all the fine words about inclusiveness that have previously emerged from the Liberal Democrats and others.
"I believe the decision to exclude the many years of experience that my Labour colleagues have to offer is founded on the politics of spite rather than the overriding needs of the city.
"I fear this may put some of the vital projects in Swansea at risk and the new administration will need to move swiftly to assure potential investors.
"Despite having the full support of my colleagues I have now decided to submit my resignation.
"In my 20 years as a councillor I have only ever wanted what was best for Swansea and to help our city to believe in itself by creating prosperity through investment.
"I hope I can say that I have been able to make a difference and that Swansea has gone forward under my leadership.
"I will remain in post until my successor is selected."
Mr Holley said, "On June 10 the people of Swansea rejected years of Labour rule and it is now our duty to explore how to run the city and county of Swansea in the best interests of the people of Swansea."
Plaid group leader Keith Morgan said, "We have made it clear we will not enter into any coalition."