Ken Bodfish of Brighton and Hove Council is being challenged by Gateshead MBC leader George Gill for leadership of the 24-strong delegation.
The New Labour label is being applied to Mr Bodfish, chair of the Local Government Association's European and International Panel. Mr Gill is the driving force behind the Special Interest Group of Metropolitan Authorities, which he set up because he was sceptical about the LGA's ability to represent the interests of the major cities.
Both men are directors of the Local Government International Bureau.
The committee represents the interests of local and regional government in the EU.