Five councillors on Lancaster City Council have announced today that they have resigned from the Labour Party, including the deputy leader of the council. Kevin Frea, the current deputy leader, Cabinet member Alistair Sinclair, Faye Penny, Jack O’Dwyer-Henry and Katie Whearty will now sit on the Council as a new group named Eco-Socialist Independents.
In statements accompanying the announcement the councillors said that they can no longer sit as Labour councillors because of the Party’s shift right under Keir Starmer and highlighted a number of recent issues, including Labour’s abstention on the spycops bill, the unjust suspension of Jeremy Corbyn and the watering-down of the socialist Green New Deal policies:
Humanity faces a future of spiralling inequality and climate catastrophe. The world needs strong socialist movements to fundamentally challenge the capitalist system that is destroying our planet.
For a brief time, a ‘moment’, the Labour Party offered hope to millions, to the many not the few. Today under Starmer, it is offering a return to ‘business as usual’. The country and the world doesn’t have time for this. The climate extinction clock is ticking. So, we cannot in good conscience remain as representatives of this Labour Party with which we now hold so little in common.”
The Council is currently controlled by an alliance of Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat councillors, in which the new group has said it wishes to remain.
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