THE main UK Labour party appears to be falling apart at the seams with MP’s declaring themselves ‘independent’ and citing Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and anti-semetism amongst other things as reasons to leave the institution of their political allegiance of many years.
The Llanelli and Carmarthenshire Labour Group appears have its own difficulties as a total of 9 Community and County Councillors have decided to leave the Labour Party and stand as Independent Councillors.
In a press released issued today, Wednesday (Mar 6) the councillors pointed out that following their decision to leave the Labour group it will have a major effect on who controls Llanelli Town Council. For decades the Council has been under the control of Labour, but they will now find themselves in opposition for the first time in recent history.
It seems the last major Labour stronghold in Carmarthenshire is under threat of losing support from its former rank and file.
Five who left the party are County Councillors and were formerly part of the Labour Group at Carmarthenshire County Council. The five have also left the Labour Group at the County Council and will now sit as Independents.
Spokesman Cllr. Jeff Edmunds who was the former Leader of the Group said: “It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that we’ve decided to leave the Labour Party and become an Independent Councillors. We cannot remain as members of the Labour Group of Councillors as we’ve believe the current leadership is adopting bullying and harassment tactics to ‘whip’ its membership, along with other practices that we can neither accept or condone. We could not agree with the way the current leadership is seemingly creating a culture of ‘divide and conquer’ within the group in preference to one of harmony and unity. We became so concerned that last year some have even asked for an investigation to be carried out in the hope that mistakes be identifies and remedial and appropriate action taken. This was felt to be unnecessary by certain individuals and the consequence of that decision is now apparent. Nine Llanelli based Councillors have left the Labour Party but we believe there may be more”.
“There is no feeling of being included in the decision making process from those who occupy the back benches, definitely no team spirit exists, there is no effort to try to create it. As long standing members and supporters of the Labour Party, we have been made to feel that we don’t belong and the way in which we have been treated has made some of us feel like outcasts.
“It is appalling and total unacceptable how some Labour Councillors have been treated by the present leadership and incompetence demonstrated. The leadership failure to promote harmony, good relations and an atmosphere of cohesiveness and the sense of belonging for some members of the Labour Group has been simply non-existent. It has been blatantly obvious that a ‘them and us’ attitude was allowed to flourish under this leadership. We could no longer continue under such a regime.”
In a statement the Leader of the Labour Group Cllr Rob James said: “I am extremely disappointed that the former Leader of the Labour Group has chosen to be a divisive character in the group since losing the leadership and now decided to throw his toys out of the pram and leave. “Politics is not about your own financial interest, it is about serving the communities that elected you. Residents voted for Labour Councillors in these wards and it is only right that all those that have defected put themselves forward for election.”