Tees

Ten Redcar councillors leave Labour in election selection protest

Some of the councillors resigning
Image caption The ten Redcar and Cleveland councillors publicly resigned from Labour and outside the offices of the party's general election candidate

Ten Labour councillors have quit the party in protest at how it is being run in their area.

The resignations from Redcar and Cleveland Council's Labour group comes after council leader George Dunning and three colleagues were deselected ahead of local elections, in May.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for six of the councillors to resign from the council's cabinet.

Labour said it was disappointed but not surprised.

Mr Dunning said: "To an outsider looking in, it would seem like the Labour Party in Redcar and Cleveland is in turmoil.

"It was, but it is not now, because we have broken away."

'Disappointed, not surprised'

Mr Dunning said the now former Labour councillors, who had 230 years council service between them, will consider standing as independents and have been offered the opportunity to join the Greens.

Mr Dunning blamed the office of Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop, who represents Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, for trying to run the council. Mr Blenkinsop has not directly commented.

Labour said they were disappointed but not surprised by the resignations.

A spokesman said: "The selection process is still ongoing but local members have begun to choose a new team of candidates drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, including a postman, a steel worker, a cobbler, a barmaid, and a netball coach."

The spokesman said the party will also elect a new leadership team for Redcar council.

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