There were red faces all round in Lancaster last night as five formerly Labour councillors – including the deputy leader of Lancaster Council – announced that “with deep sadness and rage” they have quit the Labour group and will instead sit as the “Eco-Socialist Independents“. Citing Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the party as the catalyst for the split, the group issued a statement decrying Starmer’s leadership:
“For a brief time, a ‘moment’, the Labour Party offered hope to millions, to the many not the few. Today under Starmer, it is offering a return to ‘business as usual’.”
They will have been disappointed, therefore, to learn that as they released their defection statement yesterday afternoon, Jeremy Corbyn was being readmitted to the party by a panel of NEC members. Oops.
One of the defectors, Kevin Frea, has now been in the Greens, Labour, and the Eco Socialists – with Corbyn’s re-admission he could now hop back to Labour too. Local MP David Morris tells Guido that “If Kevin Frea has any more parties in 2020 he’s going to get a ten grand fine”…