South East Wales

Cardiff council Labour rebels election 'damage' warning

Library protest in Cardiff
Image caption Plans to close seven libraries prompted hundreds to protest

Cardiff Labour councillors thinking of rebelling against cuts have been warned they could damage the party's general election prospects.

The council's cabinet approved plans on Thursday which threaten 600 jobs and could hit services in a bid to plug a £41m hole in the authority's finances.

Opposition parties are drawing up an alternative to Labour's budget.

BBC Wales has seen an email from Labour group whip Garry Hunt warning potential rebels of disciplinary action.

"Non-adherence to the whip in a budget vote which threaten the passing of a budget is likely to lead to significant suspension from the group," it said.

'Unwise actions'

"Peter Wong, chair of the local campaigning forum has been in touch," the email continued.

"He is extremely concerned about the impact any 'rebellion' would have on general election prospects in all four CLPs [Constituency Labour Parties] in Cardiff but particularly Cardiff North and central.

"Peter has asked [Welsh Labour General Secretary] Dave Hagendyck to co-author a letter to all current Labour councillors reminding them that any unwise actions on their part could lead to problems with them being re-selected for the 2017 elections."

Conservative-held Cardiff North and Liberal Democrat Cardiff Central are two key marginal seats for Labour at the general election in May.

The budget will go to a vote of the full council next week.

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