Sunday, March 19, 2023

Suspended Labour councillor to challenge Sir Peter Soulsby in Leicester mayoral election

Rita Patel, one of the four Labour councillors suspended by the party for supporting the abolition of Leicester's mayoral system, is to stand against Sir Peter Soulsby for the post in May.

You can watch her video here and read more further down the Twitter thread.

I am encouraged by her intention to abolish the city's elected mayoral system. As Sir Peter has so ably demonstrated, it concentrates too much power in the hands on one person.

Meanwhile, Patrick Kitterick, who has left Labour and joined the Greens, for whom he will stand as a council candidate in May, has been talking to the Leicester Mercury:

"I believe the Labour Party has changed for the worse, and, being on the inside, I realise just how bad it’s got in terms of the crushing of any dissent or opinion,” he said.

"Debate has been curtailed. It’s becoming apparent that anyone who stands has to sign a loyalty oath to the city mayor, and the reality is my loyalties are to the people who elect me, not to one man.

"It seems the party is going down a route where you either unquestioningly agree with the city mayor or you leave. So I’m leaving."

He also criticised the decision to bring in national party members to select candidates for the May elections, saying local members were being cut out of the decision.

"I’m just disillusioned with what’s going on in the Labour Party both nationally and locally,” he said. “It’s been setting in for a few years now, but the case of local members being cut out and us being vetted by an outside panel for the elections was a tipping point."

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