Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Defection Watch - Former Leicester Labour Whip Quits Party

Cllr Barbara Potter
Cllr Barbara Potter (Humberstone and Hamilton ward) has quit the Labour group on Leicester City Council.  Potter was the group's chief whip from 2010 until 2013 when she was ousted after complaints of "her style not going down well" with the other councillors.  During 2013, she was also banned from a city school, had a restraining order put on her by her ex-partner, and was charged with perverting the course of justice.

The controversial councillor was originally elected in 2007 after years of campaigning on a variety issues on behalf of her local community, which led to being invited to Downing Street in 2006 to discuss laws on how to tackle crime.  Her ward elected one Conservative and two Labour councillors in 2007, and then three Labour councillors in 2011.  Both times, she had the highest personal vote of the Labour councillors elected.

Last week, Potter announced her intention to contest the 2015 elections in Leicester as an Independent after the local Labour Party refused to re-select her.  She said that her Labour colleagues were trying to oppose her because she was more of "an activist, not a politician".   The new Labour chief whip simply said in reply that if Potter left the party, she ought to hold a by-election now rather than wait until 2015.

The odds of her being re-elected as an Independent will certainly be against her considering the overwhelming strength of the Labour Party in Leicester - in the last all-out elections in 2011, they won 52 of the 54 seats.

New council composition -
Labour - 51 (-1)
Conservative - 1
Independent - 1 (+1)
Liberal Democrats - 1

1 comment:

  1. Barbara Potter and her ex-Labour colleague, Wayne Naylor, have both joined TUSC and will be standing as Independent Councillors Against Cuts in 2015.