Former leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council Barry Stockley has resigned from the Labour Party.
He has also revealed that he will not be standing in the upcoming local elections and has pledged his support for his former colleague and official Labour Party candidate Terry Crowe.
Two separate sources had claimed that Mr Stockley was 99.9% certain to stand, the only question was the ward he chose to stand in.
It is now thought that certain political activists has presumed that Mr Stockley would stand upon announcing his resignation from the Labour Party.
Other sources are claiming that Mr Stockley’s name was used to boost the campaigns of certain former prominent Labour Party members as they seek election to the council in May.
Barry’s decision has ended his 32 year relationship with the Labour Party.
Mr Stockley has written the following letter to his friends, colleagues and supporters clarifying his position:
Former Chair Stoke Central Labour Party and Assistant to Mark Fisher MP
City Council Elections 5th May 2011
It is well known that for some time now I have been concerned about the unwarranted interference by Labour Party officials from outside our City into the running of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the selection of candidates for the forthcoming City Council elections.
This interference may well have contributed to the way that the Labour dominated City Council has dealt with its budgetary problems ““ voting to reduce funding for children’s centres by £2.25 million, voting to close Shelton Pool, voting to close more care homes for the elderly, voting to close Willfield Community Centre and voting to slash the funding for child and adolescent mental health services whilst at the same time wasting vast sums of money on unnecessary consultancy fees and dodgy Icelandic investments.
I have therefore resigned my membership of the Labour Party which stretches back to 1979
Whilst I shall not be standing as a candidate at the City Council elections I would urge you to seek an assurance from any candidate that asks for your support that he/she will stand up for our area and consider the needs of our community before any instruction from a political hierarchy or political group.
It is not for me to tell you how to vote but I shall be voting for Terry Crowe – not because he is the Labour Party candidate but because he has proved over many years that he is a man of the highest integrity, strong enough to challenge instructions from unelected officials and will always put the needs of our community first. .
Mr Stockley’s letter urges the electorate to seek assurances that any candidate seeking election will stand up for the area and consider the needs of thr community.
His concerns are ironically mirrored in the recent blog post http://www.pitsnpots.co.uk/blog/2011/03/stoke-trent-needs-committed-councillors-not-activists-grudge.
It is obvious that Barry Stockley had his differences with the Labour Party in recent times, but in all the time I have known him, I have never heard him say a bad word about any fellow party member. Likewise, I have never heard a Labour Party member say a bad word about Barry.
Differences?…. obviously. Mutual respect?….absolutely!