Senior figures quit Labour claiming party has 'no direction' under Starmer

Senior members of a Constituency Labour Party in Staffordshire have quit after claiming the party had "no leadership and no direction" under Sir Keir Starmer.

Christine Martin said she doesn't know what Keir Starmer's policies are
Christine Martin said she doesn't know what Keir Starmer's policies are

The chair, secretary and youth officer of the Cannock Chase CLP have all stood down and resigned from the Labour Party, saying it had turned its back on socialism and deserted working class voters since Sir Keir became leader in April 2020.

It comes after Labour was decimated in the district council elections in May, losing nine seats and overall control of the authority to the Tories.

CLP chair Christine Martin, who lost the Hagley ward seat she had held since 2016, said it had been a "battle" to hold the local group together after membership plummeted after Sir Keir became leader.

She has stood down rom the CLP along with secretary Peter King and youth officer Ryan Tipton, who was a candidate in Hednesford and Rawnsley in May's Staffordshire County Council elections.

She said they had moved a vote of no confidence in Sir Keir at a recent meeting, and had now decided to resign due to the views of grassroots members being "continually ignored".

Councillor Christine Martin

Mrs Martin, who has served two stints as a councillor for a total of 17 years, said: "There is no leadership and no direction under Starmer and we don't know what the policies are.

"There is so much fighting going on within the party that no one is getting on with actually doing anything. They have turned their back on the traditional working class voters and don't listen to what the grassroots membership have to say.

"We're the ones who go out and do the work but we're ignored.

"Instead we get emails from the general secretary telling us what we can't discuss at our meetings.

"Democracy has gone from the party. Socialism seems to have completely gone."

Mrs Martin, who joined Labour in 1985, said the CLP's membership had slumped to 380 from more than 600 since Sir Keir succeeded Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

Labour was decimated in the Cannock Chase District Council elections in May

She says she will continue to serve as a Rugeley Town councillor as an independent.

An email from Mr King to CLP members said they had "no alternative" but to resign as the party was heading "further and further to the right of politics" under Sir Keir.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Labour said: "Labour is back where it should be, listening to and acting on the concerns of people in Cannock Chase and across the West Midlands. We are facing forward and looking up.

“Results such as the victory in Batley and Spen show that in the face of division and extremism, Labour’s positive message of hope and ambition for our country is winning through."

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