by Cllr Barrie Margetts.
“I am disappointed to not have been permitted by the Labour Party to put myself forward for reselection to stand in the upcoming Council elections as a Labour candidate. I remain supportive of the current leader of the local party, Councillor Kaur. Councillor Kaur is a great advocate for the city and has been supportive of me during the appeal process which led to my being excluded from standing.
“It was the greatest honour and privilege to be elected in May 2019 to represent the people of Coxford as a councillor in the Southampton City Council. Since being elected I have worked diligently to represent and stand up for the people of Coxford and to be a voice for disadvantaged people across the city. I have learned much from the people of Coxford in my time as a councillor. I have been heartened by the many people from the ward that have contacted me offering their support in my appeal. I believe I have made an important contribution to public health in the city, in particular addressing childhood obesity and food insecurity.
“I strongly supported the declaration of Southampton as a Right to Food City. I believe the council is now in a stronger position to address the fundamental drivers of poor health outcomes in children in our city. In the last two years I helped establish a food club which is providing support to over 700 families. To me this has been about building community solidarity and support, which should be fundamental to a Labour Party, but which the national Labour Party seems not to value.
“I have been frustrated by the position taken by the national Labour Party across several key issues affecting people in Southampton. In particular, the failure of the national leadership of The Labour Party, founded by Trade Unions, to stand up for striking workers. Families are really struggling to make ends meet, and I believe the Labour Party nationally is letting people down.
“It is with a very heavy heart that I have written to the Labour Party today resigning with immediate effect. I believe the National Labour Party no longer promotes the principles and values I have lived by all my life. I will continue to stand up for striking workers and to support local community groups in their struggles.
“I will see out my term as a councillor in Coxford as an Independent. Beyond that we shall see what happens.”
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