Former Berwick councillor quits Lib Dems for Labour

A former Berwick councillor has quit the Liberal Democrats to join the Labour Party.

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 3:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 3:21 pm
Gavin Jones

Gavin Jones was Lib Dem councillor for Berwick North on Northumberland County Council until the last local elections.

He says his decision was taken in the wake of proposed plans for a combined hospital and leisure facility in Berwick, which he and the Labour Party say is a funding cut in disguise by the Conservative administration at County Hall.

After being accepted into the Labour Party, he released a statement stressing the importance of ‘uniting behind a strong opposition in the Berwick constituency’ currently represented by Tory MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

He said: “We must unite behind Labour in Berwick constituency and across Northumberland, it’s our only chance to boot out the Tories and deliver a progressive Northumberland that works for the many, not the few.”

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Mr Jones said that the ‘continued cuts’ to his local community and the ‘regressive policies and voting record of Anne-Marie Trevelyan’ have made him realise the ‘vital importance’ of having a strong opposition that can oppose the Tories and independent councillors who prop up the administration.

Berwick constituency Labour Party chairman Lisa-Marie Kelly said: “We welcome our newest member Gavin’s decision to join the Labour Party and we are continuing to see our growing membership, which is the largest of any political party in the area, standing up to take on the Tories and provide a progressive, fair and locally driven opposition. Residents can put their faith in the Labour Party to deliver a fairer, more equal society for everybody in Northumberland.”

Speaking about the health and leisure plans for Berwick, a spokesman from the Labour Party said; “Residents have stood in protest against these plans, they have written letters and spoken out clearly against what is a ludicrous plan to merge and cut both leisure facilities and much needed health care provision in Berwick.

“Despite this, the Tory administration supported by independent councillors and Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, have totally disregarded the needs of local residents. This is a disgraceful betrayal of the Berwick community which will not soon be forgotten.”

Commenting further on Mr Jones’ decision to join the Labour Party, Ms Kelly said: “We are pleased to have Gavin on board and we can foresee many more supporters and voters who previously voted Lib Dem just to keep the Tories at bay, now uniting in support of a Labour Party committed to opposing the Conservative austerity and conscious cruelty that has crippled swathes of the North East and neglected our communities in this constituency from Berwick to Alnwick and beyond.”