WIRRAL: Councillor expelled from Labour Party
Wirral Councillor Jo Bird
A Wirral councillor has been permanently excluded from Labour for supporting a group banned by the party, the LDRS understands.
Cllr Jo Bird, who represents Bromborough on Wirral Council, has admitted to signing a petition organised by Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW).
She also said she spoke at a meeting of the group – which campaigns against what it regards as politically motivated allegations of antisemitism within the party – more than three years ago.
It is understood that Cllr Bird has been expelled from the Labour Party due to her support for an organisation that is ‘proscribed’, or banned, by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) due to it being incompatible with Labour’s rules, or its aims and values.
Cllr Bird, who is Jewish, said she was “delighted” that Labour had expelled her, but said that LAW was only banned by the party four months ago.
Commenting on the decision, Cllr Bird said: “I’m delighted that the Labour Party have expelled me.
“They say it’s because I spoke at a meeting (more than three years ago) and signed a petition (early 2020) – organised by Labour Against the Witchhunt. The Labour Party banned Labour Against the Witchhunt only 4 months ago.
“I’m now free from the Labour Party’s hostile environment, where Jewish people like me are 31 times more likely to be investigated for talking about the racism we face.”
The former Labour councillor has been suspended on two previous occasions by the party, in March 2019 and February 2020.
Although it is not known what Cllr Bird’s most recent suspension was for, her suspension in March 2019 was for making a joke about ‘Jew process’.
Cllr Bird was allowed to return to the party on both occasions.
The Bromborough councillor added: “I’m free from fear of disciplinary action for exercising my human rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association – to speak and meet with other people.”
Alleging racism in the current party, she added: “The Labour Party is dying as a vehicle for social justice.”
Cllr Bird said she will continue to sit on Wirral Council as an independent.
She added: “People of Bromborough, Port Sunlight and New Ferry re-elected me last May – with 61% of votes. I will continue to work for ward residents and organisations, as your local independent councillor.
“To promote justice and equality, protect lives and livelihoods, enhance jobs, services and our environment, and oppose cruel cuts. For the many, not the few.”
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV