I can’t con­tinue while Cor­byn is Labour leader

Loyal coun­cil­lor steps down after 30 years of ser­vice to the party

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Growth Projection - By Aidan Bar­low

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.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­group.co.uk

Jill Britcher wants to see com­mon­sense re­turn

Jeremy Cor­byn is fight­ing to stay as leader

Bren­dan Chilton

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