North Yorkshire Labour councillors reaffirm commitment following resignations

North Yorkshire County Council.
North Yorkshire County Council.
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North Yorkshire's Labour councillors have reaffirmed their commitment to the party, following a fortnight of resignations both at council and national level around the country.

Each of the county's four-strong Labour contingent - consisting of Scarborough's Eric Broadbent, Anthony Randerson and Liz Colling, and Selby's Stephanie Duckett - all confirmed they had no plans to leave the party when contacted by the local democracy reporting service.

Coun Duckett said she had a "district election to fight" in May, which she would contest as a Labour councillor.

"I've no plans (to leave the party), I've got a district election to fight in a few weeks," she said, referring to the upcoming Selby District Council elections.

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Coun Duckett, who will aim to retain her ward seat of Barlby which she has held since 1995, said rumblings of Labour disconnect at national level didn't often filter down to the local scene, with a few exceptions.

"The main thing I'm getting around here is (concerns about) the anti-Semantic vote, and older Labour voters saying they won't vote Labour while Jeremy Corbyn is leader," she said.

Coun Randerson, who is also the deputy leader of Scarborough Borough Council, said there had been "no mention" of any northern Labour councillors leaving the party.

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"I've absolutely been a Labour member since day dot," he said.

"As far as I understand, we're rock solid behind Jeremy Corbyn.

"There's been no mention of anyone even contemplating it (leaving the party)."

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Fellow Scarborough councillor Liz Colling said there had been "no evidence of anti-Semitism locally", and that she'd be the "first to leave" if there was.

Coun Broadbent said that he'd stick with the party "through thick and thin".

"Even at basic grassroots (level), we're all disappointed it's happening," he said.

"My view is that you're with your party through thick and thin."

Their commitment comes in the wake of a raft of resignations across regional Labour parties at council level, in the wake of similar defections from members of parliament.

Among the resignations at the end of February was Salford Labour councillor Paul Wilson and Sheffield councillor Steve Wilson, who resigned days after his wife MP Angela Smith quit the party.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporting Service