I can’t continue while Corbyn is Labour leader
Loyal councillor steps down after 30 years of service to the party
A Labour councillor has resigned from the party in disgust at the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and Ashford group leader Brendan Chilton.
Jill Britcher has also stepped down from representing constituents in the Beaver ward in South Ashford due to health reasons.
Mrs Britcher has been a member of the party for more than 30 years, but said she wanted to see “common sense” return to the party after the MPs voted by 172 to 40 against their leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday.
She was also angered by the party’s 2015 parliamentary candidate Brendan Chilton, who took on a prominent position in the Labour Leave campaign.
In a statement she said: “With a heavy heart I have just resigned from the Labour Party. I cannot continue in the party while Corbyn is leader. I think he has been abysmal and the party will never regain power with him as leader.
“I have been loyal to the party through all kinds of tribulations in the past but now I have had enough. I am absolutely horrified by the decision to leave the EU and I am not prepared to work alongside those who were promoting exit.
“I will rejoin the party only if common sense prevails.”
The crisis for the Ashford Labour Party was also made worse by the resignation of Gordon Miller, who resigned over the same concerns and is rumoured to have joined the Liberal Democrats.
It heaps further misery onto the party in Ashford, which was previously plunged into crisis in when Harriet Yeo defected to Ukip in February 2015.
Now the party is left with just two elected representa- tives in the town, Brendan Chilton in Stanhope and Dara Farrell in Victoria ward.
Group leader Brendan Chilton said he intends to remain in the Labour Party, and said he has come under attack from friends because he backed a campaign to leave the European Union.
He said: “The result was close, but the majority was for a decision to leave the EU. It should be accepted but unfortunately those on the Remain side have been pretty angry.
“I’ve been called a demagogue and a racist, but I’m not. I campaigned to leave the EU on socialist princi-
‘The Party will never regain power with him as leader… he has been abysmal’
ples, against exploitation of workers and in favour of democracy.”
He added that the government should trigger Article 50 to leave the European Union, and include trade unions and other political parties in the negotiations in order to bring the country together.
For special feature on the Brexit vote see pages 6 to 8.
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Jill Britcher wants to see commonsense return
Jeremy Corbyn is fighting to stay as leader