The Labour Party have placed party stalwart and Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent CLP under administrative suspension.
The move comes after a series of high profile bust ups in the months leading up to the Local & General Elections.
A number of leading Stoke Central Labour Party activists have since walked out of the party.
The trouble began with the controversial selection of candidates for the local elections, There were then a series of bust ups between officers of Stoke Central CLP and the Labour Party Regional Office West Midlands which included declaring an AGM null and void and the selection of Mick Williams as a “Ëœcandidate in principle’ for the Hartshill & Penkull ward.
The selection was later overturned by the ROWM and a candidate was selection from 2 names chosen by them.
The selection of Tristram Hunt as the Labour Party PPC was also shrouded in controversy.
Gary Elsby, the Secretary of the Stoke Central CLP, left the party in protest at the selection of Mr Hunt and stood against him in the General Election.
The Labour Party appeared to be somewhat vindicated by the results of the Party both locally and nationally.
Locally the Labour Party made 12 gains on Stoke-on-Trent City Council, taking 17 out of the 20 available seats.
In the General Election Tristram Hunt defeated the Lib Dems into 2nd place, the Conservatives into 3rd and the BNP into 4th place. Gary Elsby finished in 7th place with 399 votes.
Barry Stockley today confirmed that he had been suspended and that the party were holding an investigation that could result in a disciplinary hearing. He also said that he has the support of new Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt and his predecessor Mark Fisher.
Mr Stockley has also been praised for the amount of work he put into the General Election campaign and several ex and current members have appealed that the Regional Office take this into consideration when imposing any punishment or sanctions upon him.
While the suspension is in force Mr Stockley is prevented from holding any office within the Labour Party which could mean he will be unable to put himself forward for the Chair of the CLP at their upcoming AGM.
A spokesperson for the City of Stoke-on-Trent Labour Party confirmed that Mr Stockley was under administrative suspension and that the AGM would take “Ëœplace as soon as possible’ and that it was important to get all members of Stoke-on-Trent CLP to attend the meeting to have their say on the direction that the CLP takes in the future.
It was also confirmed that several CLP members had expressed an interest in standing for office within the party.