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Crawley Councillors who left Labour say they are still with Labour whilst not being Labour…eh??

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Another week and another bizarre development in the political turmoil that is Crawleys own council.

This week a letter penned by the two councillors, who made the dramatic move to leave Labour, has now been released showing how the two who have left Labour have in-fact not really left Labour and in-fact are still supporting Labour and intend to continue to support Labour whilst not being Labour but while making a ruckus of not being Labour – but are still kind of Labour in a non Labour kind of way. You follow?

What’s more, following some calls for the councillors to resign their positions now they are not representing the party their voters chose, we are reminded in the letter of how they condemn any such councillor who would dare to cling to office rather than listen to the people, just for the sake of it and how they would never do the same…

Except in this circumstance!

It’s like a carry on film at the council at the moment and who knows when it is going to change.

At a time when the town needs to come together the last thing it needs is division, but when situations like this occur then how on earth do you not call out the complete insanity of what is happening.

So a plea to both parties (PLUS INDEPENDENTS) – please just work together and stop the bickering so that you can all help the town!

You can read the letter for yourself below:

Dear Marion and Tim,

I hope that you and yours are keeping safe and well. The purpose of this email is to restate our position as independent councillors and to point out how our position as such may be helpful to the Labour Group at this time.

Of course, we are aware that Labour Groups are only permitted to enter into agreements with other groups in exceptional circumstances and as a last resort and that this can only be done in co-operation with the National and Regional Parties.

A reason for our choosing not to form a group ourselves was so that as many options remain open to guarding Labour’s manifesto and policy options as possible. If members of the Labour Group are committed to that as we are, then we do not see that there is any need to concede anything to the Tories. We took the decision not to form a group knowing that we would be ruling ourselves out of any positions that attracted a responsibility allowance and that we would have few or no opportunities to offer input as committee members.

As we have already said, we were elected on a Labour manifesto and we have re-stated our commitment to that.  We would always support policies that are consistent with Labour’s and you know that we would never betray Labour’s values and principles – to all intents and purposes, following the Labour Group whip.

We are aware that there has been a suggestion that pressure be applied to us to resign our council seats. We have always condemned those who cling to office for its own sake and have said consistently that we would never do that ourselves. No individual politician is bigger than the Party they represent, and we have always viewed this as self-serving. Added to this, the behaviour of certain Party and Group members over the last fortnight has very much tempted both of us to walk away.

However, should we resign our council seats at this time (while by elections cannot take place), it would leave residents of Bewbush, Northgate and West Green without the full representation to which they are entitled. Not only this, but this would be handing control to the Tories – they would then have a straight majority and would be able to take measures that are definitely not in accordance with Labour’s principles and values.

Even from a distance, it seems puzzling to us that – if what we hear is correct – the Labour Group have chosen to negotiate – which will always mean making concessions – with a Party that, as the Labour Group leader has put it himself, has very different politics from those of Labour.

Our differences with the Labour Party are not to do with Labour’s principles and values. Any vote of no confidence would be an endorsement (or not) of the current leader. It is not a vote of no confidence in the Labour Party, or Labour’s policies or the Labour Group as a whole. Our position regarding the current leader is firm: for reasons that we have been, and still are, prepared to explain to the Group if asked, we could not in all conscience give our votes to a leader in whom we now have even less confidence than we did at the time we resigned.

Best wishes,

Councillor Karen Sudan
Councillor Rory Fiveash

Henry Smith

‘Stop needless suffering of live animal exports’ says Crawley MP

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In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith shows his support for Animal Welfare.

‘I am often contacted by Crawley residents who want to see our nation provide greater animal welfare protections, particularly given the opportunities in this regard upon exiting the European Union’s single market.

As a Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare and a Patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, I wholeheartedly agree.

One key area of opportunity is to stop needless suffering of live animals which are being exported for slaughter.

Along with parliamentary colleagues I have campaigned on this issue for some years, with successive UK governments not able to tackle the issue due to the constraints of EU membership.

With the end of the Brexit transition on the horizon, it is right that this Government is looking to the future. The Environment Secretary has launched a consultation aiming to ban live animal exports.

In addition to reducing the risk of potentially severe harms faced by animals being transported due to injury and maltreatment, this would also mean that these animals will no longer have to rely on the welfare laws of other countries, which may fall short of the standards expected in the UK.

Ministers are also consulting on proposals to ensure improvements to animal welfare in transport such as reduced maximum journey times, more space for animals and tighter rules on transporting animals in extreme temperatures.

The Government consultation ‘Improvements to animal welfare in transport’ is open until 28th January 2021. Please click here for more information and to make a submission.’

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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