Gainsborough

Veteran quits Labour over ‘disrespectful’ petition on Remembrance Sunday

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A former county council candidate and veteran has resigned from Labour over what he has described as “disrespectful” campaigning by the local party in Gainsborough on Remembrance Sunday.

Ex-military officer Ian Bradley said that he found doorknocking and petitions on a national day of remembrance “disgusting”, adding that he felt betrayed by the party.

The 47-year-old was in the forces for 24 years between 1986 and 2010, serving in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

He joined the Labour Party in 2009 and was a former vice-chair of the Gainsborough Constituency Labour Party, having moved to the town two-and-a-half years ago.

However, he said he resigned from the party in response to his former fellow members protesting against West Lindsey District Council’s consultation on whether to introduce green bin charges.

In a letter to Gainsborough CLP chair Dave Bond seen by Lincolnshire Reporter, Ian said that he was resigning from the party not with regret but with “shame and disgust”.

He said: “I came here over two years ago full of life and hope for the my party. This has been slowly drained from me.

“I don’t believe the CLP want to actually win or take seats. There are people within who act without thought or regard for anybody in the party.

“The communication is actually non-existent with people acting alone without discussion from the proper committees or branches. This isn’t a CLP-wide problem but a Gainsborough branch problem.

“I have to give in because their actions are destroying my faith in the Labour Party and frankly are able a waste of my time.

“I was brought up to respect other people and their beliefs, yet to find out that a petition was being undertaken on the nation’s day of remembrance of those who gave their lives and still do for this country is beyond belief.

“In fact I find it a total betrayal of those people by my own party. What also is sickening is I am on the campaign team and knew nothing about it!

“I don’t wish you well at all because it is very obvious that people within the CLP have no desire to win or take seats. It is their personal reign and they act as they always have and will. Until this element is removed you stand no chance. This is from a person who actual has won seats!”

Speaking to Lincolnshire Reporter, the party’s candidate for Gainsborough Trent in the 2017 Lincolnshire County Council election said that he had not been made aware of the protest until it happened.

He said: “I don’t have an issue with what they were protesting about. They don’t want the charges – I get that.”

“But to be going round knocking on people’s doors on Remembrance Sunday is very disrespectful.

“I find it disgusting.

“I enjoy politics but my strength has been sapped.

“You can’t be fighting yourselves.”

A Labour Party spokesperson declined to comment on the letter.