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Yet more defections…

Defecting from Labour is spreading faster than winter flu, as yet another councillor abandons Gordon Brown’s party.

This time it’s Councillor Greta Sohoye, who has crossed the floor to the Conservatives.

The Croydon Guardian reports:

She claimed local Labour leader Tony Newman had marginalised and ignored ethnic minority councillors, adding a recent speech made by Conservative cabinet member Gavin Barwell had made up her mind to cross the floor.”

Newman has called on Sohoye – a councillor since 2002 – to resign, calling her a “Tory turncoat.”

Whatever the reasons for Sohoye’s defection, what is clear is that this has become depressingly familiar for Labour. The Croydon councillor is the twelfth BME sitting Labour member to either be deselected or defect to another party in recent months.

Those calling for an internal Labour inquiry to look at this issue are sure to redouble their efforts.

LH

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4 Responses

  1. Unfortunately, what your report omits is that Greta crossed the floor following her deselction by local Labour Party members. Greta was elected by local people because she represented Labour policies and values and if Greta no longer holds these values she should be honest, stand down now and face the people under a conservative banner.

    Greta’s defection does not surprise me, in fact her betrayal of those who elected her shows that local members were correct in their decision withdraw support from her as their Councillor. Incidentally, this was in a meeting made up of 21 members from the ethnic minorities and 1 from other communities. However, I am extremely disappointed and saddened by her bitter backlash against Councillor Tony Newman. Greta has made vicious and spiteful accusations which she knows not to be true. The local Labour Party’s membership, councillors and shadow cabinet, all reflect the diverse community we represent. Greta had the support and opportunities shared by all members of the Labour Group but sadly lacked the commitment.

    I do not wish to get into a slanging match with Greta regarding what she did or did not do, however, local Labour Party members are clear, they spent time studying the applications for selection and listened attentively to the candidates and judged Councillors on their current performance. A young black woman who lives locally was selected in her place. Given, that so many of the members are from Ethnic Minorities they remain proud that their Councillors are representative of the broad make up of the ward residents and stand by the selections they have made.

  2. This defection means that the Tories now have over 10% of Cllr who are BAME, where as Labour have just under 40%. Croydon is pushing 40% in terms of BAME residents. If Cllr Newman is marginalising and ignoring ethnic minority councillors what is his Tory counterparts’ excuse?

  3. It would be good to see who has replaced all the councillors that defected to show some balance.

    Lester help us out?

  4. There is a strong temptation by Labour BAME councillors to neglect those safe Labour wards in Croydon North when it comes to much needed spending, care and regeneration. The important injection of new Conservatives councillors could mean voters will matter again, with no council ward left as a place to be taken for granted, or be neglected by the labour councillors.

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