Two Whaley Bridge councillors resign from borough council roles

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Two High Peak Borough Councillors have resigned – leaving Whaley Bridge without any representation on the authority.

Mother and daughter Kath and Shannon Thomson were elected to represent Whaley Bridge in 2019 as Labour councillors but just days ago the duo announced their resignation.

A joint statement issued by the former councillors said: “It is with a heavy heart we now make public our resignation from the High Peak Borough Council and the Labour Party. Some of you may support us and some will disagree with our stand, but make a stand we must.”

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The pair say after they won the elections they had ‘great expectations’ of themselves and the party and of being able to help people living and working in the area.


The statement said: “Since the change of leadership our party has sadly changed.

“The values we campaigned when we spoke to you about the promises the national party gave you seem to have been abandoned.”

They say the alleged racist and sexist behaviour of staff at the top of the party towards party members left them feeling ‘betrayed and humiliated’.

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The statement continued stating there has been a lack of ‘effective opposition and support for ordinary people at a time of many real crises across the country’.

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It said: “We felt the leadership’s actions to eliminate socialist policies were untenable.

“These are the very policies on which the Labour movement was founded.”

They say during the election for the leadership, promises were made, only to be broken once in office. They were ‘sickened’ when former leader Jeremy Corbyn was ejected from the party.

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The statement ended by saying: “All this has left us feeling alienated from the party. It frankly does not represent our personal views and values anymore.“Therefore we feel we cannot stand on your doorsteps and support a Labour party we no longer believe in.

“We must say how much we have enjoyed the opportunity to help people in our community during our tenure.

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“Thank you to the many lovely people we have met. It has been an honour to help everyone of you.”

However, this news has come as a disappointment to other members of the Labour party.

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Cllr Anthony Mckeown, Labour Leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: "It's obviously regrettable when colleagues decide they no longer wish to be part of the team, especially when it's related to national issues over which we have no control.

"Whilst we respect the decision Kath and Shannon have made, we are disappointed they have chosen to take this path and abandon the hard work of local members and the residents that elected them.

"Our focus will remain on doing what we can to minimise the impact of poor decisions by our current Government."

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Councillor Fiona Sloman, Chair of High Peak Constituency Labour Party echoed the sentiment and said: "I am disappointed professionally and indeed personally, that two Labour councillors resigned from the party and the council without discussion and with apparent disregard for the consequences.

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"Frankly the people of Whaley Bridge have also been let down but we will seek to ensure their proper representation."

A spokesperson for High Peak Borough Council confirmed both councillors have resigned and added ‘a Notice of Casual Vacancies will be published this week’.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. – Louise Cooper, editor.