WARRINGTON Borough Councillor Dan Price has quit the Labour Party after conceding that he can no longer campaign for a party that is helping the Tories deliver Brexit.
The Great Sankey North and Whittle Hall ward councillor, who will carry on representing the area as an Independent, has long been opposed to Brexit. He says Labour members have been betrayed by Jeremy Corbyn’s pretence of supporting Remain during the referendum after it’s subsequently emerged he is an ardent Brexiteer.
“Local businesses and constituents continually ask me what Labour is doing to protect them from the chaos and uncertainty of Brexit,” he said, “and it has become increasingly difficult for me to look them in the eye and say Labour is fighting to protect your best interests.
“In my heart I know this is simply not true.”
In a letter of resignation to the Group Leader Russ Bowden, he also expressed his sadness that the Labour Party continues to “ignore all the evidence showing Brexit will make Britain poorer” and is ignoring the views of the majority of Labour members.
“I can no longer watch the Labour Party doubling down on denial and be complicit in it,” he said. “This culture of denial is all pervasive. Warrington North’s MP is Chair of the petitions select committee and speaks passionately on asking the Government to listen to the strength of public feeling on issues like stricter fireworks regulations. But when it comes to the biggest ever petition calling on the Government to halt the Brexit process, she remains silent.
“This illustrates how Labour has utterly lost its way.”
Elected as Warrington’s youngest ever councillor in 2011, Councillor Price said he wanted to thank colleagues for their camaraderie and support over the years and was proud of what they achieved together.
“We’ve really refocused Warrington’s cultural ambitions and are now in a good position to help our town centre adapt to changing needs and prosper under a community hub model.”
Pledging to continue working as an independent councillor, he added that he remained passionate about his home town. But on the issue of Brexit, which threatens to cause untold damage for future generations, he could not remain in a Brexit-supporting party.
Responding to the resignation Council leader Cllr. Russ Bowden said: “It is disappointing that a colleague has left the Labour Party. Whilst we thank them for their efforts as they now watch from the sidelines, it won’t detract us from the job in hand.
“Warrington needs a Labour-run administration that continues to protect it from brutal austerity cuts that hit our most vulnerable the hardest. One that faces up to difficult choices with honesty, putting people at the centre of its decision-making. But above all, a Labour Council that is ambitious for our town, that delivers the clear vision and the leadership we need to make Warrington a great place to do business and a special place to call home.”