City Labour leader ‘did not inform’ party prior to resignation

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The co-chair of Portsmouth Labour says that the party are disappointed in John Ferrett’s decision to leave his position as leader of Portsmouth City Council’s Labour group.

Cllr Ferrett announced the shock resignation on BBC Radio Solent this morning, following Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as leader of the Labour Party at their conference this weekend.

In a short statement, Portsmouth Labour Party co-chair Siôn Reynolds claims that Cllr Ferrett, who was a member of the party for 27 years, failed to inform the party that he was stepping down from the role prior to his announcement at 7.30am.

She said: ‘Portsmouth Labour Party are disappointed to hear of the resignation of Cllr Ferrett this morning.

‘It is also regrettable that Cllr Ferrett did not inform Portsmouth Labour Party of his decision to stand down.

‘We would like to thank Cllr Ferrett for his work with the Labour Party.

‘It must also be noted that less than six months ago Cllr Ferrett was elected as a Labour councillor.

‘We hope that in calling a by-election he will give the residents of Paulsgrove the opportunity to have their say on his decision to leave the party.’

In his resignation letter, Cllr Ferrett said: ‘I’m proud to have been part of a Labour family that treated each other with civility and kindness. Unfortunately since the disastrous decision of MPs to nominate Corbyn, even though they did not support him, the party has been plunged in to an internecine conflict that I believe has destroyed the chances of the party ever governing again.’

He went on to say that he ‘could not advocate to voters that they elect a Labour government with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm.’

Cllr Ferrett said he would continue to serve the ward of Paulsgrove as an independent councillor.