Doncaster Labour councillor resigns in protest over Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership

A Doncaster Labour councillor has resigned from the party in protest at Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:58 pm
Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party

Coun Nikki McDonald, who is not standing in the coming elections in May, will see out her tenure as an independent.

She said she did not stand for re-election due to a number of issues including the apparent suspension of Labour members across the country.

Coun McDonald, who was elected in 2017, said the national party was suspending branch chairs and secretaries for passing motions in support of former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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She also hit out at the body who runs council elections – the Local Campaign Forum – for its ‘acceptance of an appallingly poor councillor application system’.

But she added the ‘final straw’ was the announcement by shadow defence secretary and Wentworth & Dearne MP, John Healy, that Labour’s support for keeping nuclear weapons in the UK is “non-negotiable,”

Commenting on the resignation, one senior Labour source described the letter as ‘rambling’.

Coun McDonald said: “I have struggled with my social conscience since the new leadership of Starmer and Rayner lied their way into office by stating they would unite the Labour Party – nothing could be further from the truth.

“Decent democratic socialists, which this party is supposed to be, have been victimised, bullied and suspended.

“Dictats on an almost daily basis are enforced including preventing democratically reached motions being sent in from branches on a range of issues including ‘support of Jeremy Corbyn’ or ‘no confidence’ motions in Starmer or Rayner.

“If they were sent in it resulted in branch chairs and secretaries being suspended, the latest dictat is preventing selected candidates in Liverpool from standing as mayor and the process runs again without them.

“This is part of the bullying dictatorship that now exists in the ‘new leadership’ , which should have no place in the Labour party I came to know under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.”

A spokesman for Starmer’s office said they didn’t want to comment.

Elections for both the mayor, council and parish councils will take place on Thursday, May 6.