Councillors ‘auto-excluded’ for supporting anti-Labour candidate in local elections
Two Sandwell councillors – Julie Webb and Bill Cherrington – were revealed last weekend by the SKWAWKBOX to have supported an ex-Labour independent candidate fighting local elections against the Labour Party.
The SKWAWKBOX understands from local sources that both councillors have today been expelled from the party under rule 2.4B, which makes support for a rival party or candidate an ‘auto-exclusion’ offence.
Both councillors declined to comment on their expulsion when invited to do so this evening.
Another councillor, Caroline White, was expelled for supporting the candidacy of the same independent councillor and his wife, David and Shirley Hosell, who had been deselected by the party. Both were unsuccessful in their bid for re-election.
All of the councillors are understood to have been supporters of former council leader Steve Eling, an ally of Tom Watson. Eling was suspended after complaints of serious misconduct. His case has been referred to the National Constitutional Committee, Labour’s ultimate disciplinary body.
Watson attacked the suspension of Eling and the deselection of the councillors. According to eyewitnesses, he behaved in a ‘foul and appalling’ manner at a meeting of Labour’s National Executive (NEC) in an attempt to block or overturn the case against Eling.
Sandwell is not the only area to have seen similar expulsions recently. Last week, Haringey councillor Barbara Blake was expelled under the same rule after extensive support for ‘Change UK’ candidates.
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