Analysis

Labour groups are sidelining ex-Labour councillors – but can be forced by law to include them

Law requires councils to include independent councillors in policy decisions – if they organise as a ‘political group’

The Labour right has made a series of moves recently to block from any policy influence former Labour councillors unjustly expelled by the party or who have resigned in disgust at the conduct and lack of opposition of Keir Starmer and his factional allies, by holding votes to bar them from holding policy committee positions they previously held.

Cllrs Sarah Morton, Sam Gorst and Anna Rothery

But the law bans such a move in many cases.

The Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 stipulates that independent councillors must be allowed to sit on committees, in proportion to their numbers, if they organise into a ‘political group’ of two or more people:

In the case of three Liverpool city councillors targeted for discrimination in this way – Anna Rothery, Sarah Morton and Sam Gorst, two of whom are BAME – if they decide to form an ‘independents group’ on the council, the bigotry shown against them cannot stand. Indeed, there is talk among other currently-Labour members of the council of forming a large independent bloc to ensure a genuinely left voice is heard.

Sadly, the law may not help Wirral’s only Jewish councillor Jo Bird, who was shamefully hounded out of her positions earlier this month by an unholy alliance of right-wing Labour and the Tories on the council. While an ‘independent group’ has already been constituted on the council by two councillors, one is a former Green and the other a supporter of right-wing former Birkenhead MP Frank Field who was quoted in the Murdoch press in 2018 describing ‘bullying’ by left members, despite not being present.

In the absence of other councillors becoming independents, it may not be feasible for Cllr Bird to fight the discrimination against her using the political groups legislation.

Cllr Jo Bird

Skwawkbox stands in solidarity with all the left-wing councillors hounded by the Labour party.

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17 comments

  1. How can any party member accept Starmer’s malicious factionalism as the actions of a good party leader?

    Divided parties never win respect or votes from electorates – as we will probably see on Thursday when Labour does NOT win the seat a nine point lead could give it, but it goes to the third-place party instead.

    1. It is worrying to see even some indie media talk about a ‘”Labour” win as though Thatcher’s Neoliberal Neo-New-Labour Party Parasite TORIES are going to be ANY Improvement on Thatcher’s Neoliberal Conservative Party TORIES, in any way whatsoever! I can see 43 Years of TORY HELL extended and outliving many of us!
      Hopefully for their own sakes The Young will grow up distrusting MSM, Neoliberals, etc, etc and not become The Materialistic Zombified Sheeple whom their Parents are!

      1. Well nellykskelly – I hope you’re right –
        But – I admire your optimism.
        Our fight is NOW.

  2. One thing I have noticed, all my conservative friends dislike Starmer. He’s flogging a dead horse trying to attract them

    1. It’s true here too (in Leeds) lundiel. At least they respected and paid attention to Corbyn, but Sir Keir has the personality and political skills of a vintage used T bag. He’s a black bin-bag sort of guy.

    2. Shall we say our Fight is supposed to be now, but……..wait,……what!? Is that Tumbleweed!?
      Sadly so long as people can have their Netflix included TV Package, the latest iPhone/GalaxyS, already salivating over the next one, advertised in their Glossy Fash Mag, days after getting their latest one, they literally couldn’t give a fuck about NO Fight.
      However the thud of landing with the rest of us “undeserving poor” is like rock on cold steel.
      The only way the rest of us can fight is by Tactically voting all Thatcher’s Neoliberal Neo-New-Labour Party Parasite TORIES OUT of their seats, and prevent their Candidates from taking any seats. Wherever there are UK Labour Party MPs, Candidates, Exiles VOTE THEM IN! We need Representation FOR The PEOPLE in the HoC NOT MORE Neoliberal TORY Elites/Establishment Serfs.
      We have no option but to lose this GE and clean the house out, reorganise, refocus, kick but, get active in the community and take the next GE, Safest would be as Labour, with existing CLPs Unions, NEC, Members and Democratic Socialist PLP. We could even incorporate other Parties of Socialist/Democratic Socialist nature. A real broadchurch of like minded politics not a so called broadchurch of Two Polar Opposing Political Parties!

  3. Anna Rothery, Sarah Morton and Sam Gorst shouldn’t just form an ‘independents group’ on the council, they should form an “Independent Labour Group”. A hundred thousand+ former party members would like a dog in this race, and it’s about time the healthy parts of the party, evolved into something positive.

    1. Did any Labour councillors stand up for Jo Bird or at least feign a headache and not turn up for the vote

  4. The real question is why members and CLPs are so apathetic and resigned to being treated abysmally? Nothing is normal about this. Being servile enforcers of the anti-left prejudices of the wretched, moronic RW crew at Southside just makes you as bad as them.

    Even if the likes of Starmer, Reeves, Streeting et al can somehow trick enough 2017-19 GE Labour voters into turning out for the party at the next election (big if), they won’t fool them twice. It’s a baked-in certainty that any centre-right, Starmer-led govt would profoundly disappoint those voters, possibly infuriate them even – then it’ll be another 20 years in the opposition wilderness for Labour, with Starmer slithering off to collect his Blair/Mandelson type rewards from establishment patrons. Is that the future members want for their party?

    1. Surely, Labour should win this Thursday’s by-election then? Why is the MSM bleating on that the LibDem (who came third last time) will win?

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