Eastfield councillor resigns from new North Yorkshire Council and Labour Party over ‘contempt’ shown to left-wing members

Tony Randerson has said he will be resigning from his role as a councillor on the unitary authority and from the Labour Party over concerns about the party’s political direction and leadership.
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Eastfield’s elected representative, Cllr Tony Randerson, has announced his immediate resignation from the new North Yorkshire Council and the Labour Party on Monday, April 3.

He said that the party’s national leadership has shown “contempt” towards left-wing “rank and file members” and said that “only right-wing yes people are now acceptable to fly the flag for Scarborough and Whitby”.

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Mr Randerson, who was a member of Scarborough Council’s cabinet until the authority was abolished on April 1, has said that a by-election will take place as he will “not be crossing the floor to join another party or sit as an independent councillor”.

Tony Randerson has resigned as a councillorTony Randerson has resigned as a councillor
Tony Randerson has resigned as a councillor

Mr Randerson said: “It is with sadness, frustration and anger that I have torn up my Labour membership card and resigned from the party… I have also tendered my resignation from the North Yorkshire Council as the elected Labour councillor for Eastfield.”

The former armed forces champion for Scarborough Council criticised Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for “ditching” pledges he made during the 2020 leadership election

He also claimed that the national party had prevented left-wing members from being shortlisted as candidates for Scarborough and Whitby ahead of the next general election.

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He said: “The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when a local Labour councillor in Scarborough was unable even to get on the ‘long list’ as a possible candidate for the Scarborough and Whitby Constituency, he was debarred unceremoniously by the national Labour Party.”

However, Mr Randerson did not rule out running in the by-election and told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he would “take a couple of days to take stock and will then determine if I am going to contest the Eastfield division seat again or not”.

Cllr Steve Shaw-Wright, the Labour group leader on North Yorkshire Council said he was “bitterly disappointed” by Cllr Randerson’s decision to leave the party and the Labour group.

He said: “Considering Tony has said he wants to align himself with the Labour group should he be successful in the by-election, it begs the question why leave a group and at the same time want to be a member of the same group?”

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He added that the Labour group had begun the process of selecting a new candidate and would be “kicking off the campaign with a strong start”.

In December last year, SBC Cllr Theresa Norton revealed that she resigned from the Labour Party after she said the party suspended her and started an investigation following her participation in Just Stop Oil climate protests.

At the time she said: “As a socialist, I find that I needed something a bit more than what the Labour Party nationally are offering at the moment.”

The UK Labour Party, the Scarborough and Whitby Constituency Labour Party, and North Yorkshire Council were contacted for comment but had not replied by the time of publication.