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Labour ‘mistakenly’ suspends councillor for allegedly supporting Socialist Appeal

‘I am not and have never been a member of the organisation,’ says Holly Waddell, a councillor in Northumberland

A COUNCILLOR in north-east England has complained of being “mistakenly” thrown out of the Labour Party for allegedly supporting a proscribed organisation.

Holly Waddell, a councillor in Northumberland, was told last Friday that she had been expelled for endorsing Socialist Appeal.

The Trotskyist group was proscribed by Labour’s national executive committee last July, meaning that any party member thought to be a supporter of the organisation will be expelled.

Ms Waddell said she believed that the party has “mistakenly” taken likes from her personal Facebook page as an endorsement of Socialist Appeal.

“I am not and have never been a member of the organisation,” she insisted.

In a Twitter post, she added that she had “never bought their paper, attended any events or given them financial support” and was “shocked and saddened by this decision.”

Ms Waddell vowed to contest the decision, adding that she would refrain from further comment during the appeal process.

Tony Pierre, campaign manager for North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll, was also expelled from Labour last week for supporting Socialist Appeal. Ms Waddell is said to be an ally of Mr Driscoll.

The action against Ms Waddell and Mr Pierre follows a string of expulsions of Labour members for allegedly supporting a range of proscribed organisations, including Resist, the Labour in Exile Network and Labour Against the Witchhunt as well as Socialist Appeal.

The expulsions follow Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes, a close ally of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and member of the national executive, deselection as a candidate to fight the forthcoming local elections in his ward.

Sources have linked Mr Forbes’s deselection to activists allied to Mr Driscoll.

Labour has been invited to comment.

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