Labour member who supported return of Hayling Ferry faced ban from Tory peers

Mark Coates

Mark Coates

A wellwisher lays flowers outside the Houses of Parliament Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

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CALLS TO ban a key instigator in the return of the Hayling Ferry from the island’s Labour party were made because of his involvement with the Tories in the process.

Mr. Coates has been one of two key campaigners for the Hayling Ferry Trust, working with conservative Councillor Clare Satchwell in recent months to bring back the Hayling Ferry.

Cllr Clare Satchwell of Hayling Island

Cllr Clare Satchwell of Hayling Island

Following the Havant Labour Party Supporting Nomination Meeting on Tuesday, Hayling Secretary Sheila Mealy called for Mr Coates to be banned from the party for working with the Tories. It appears this is because the work meant close liaison with conservative party member Councillor Claire Satchwell, who was also working with her fellow party contacts.

Ms Mealy said that Mr Coates should be temporarily banned to learn his lesson.

She said: ‘We don’t ban members lightly at the Labour party, but he didn’t tell us about what he was doing, he did it all in secrecy.

‘I’m not very happy about it all. He’s meant to be working with the Labour party. You can’t have your feet in both corners, it doesn’t work like that.’

Mr. Coates, 42, of Hayling, said that whilst volunteers from the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour have helped in this campaign, party politics had no role in the on-going work of the Trust to ensure that the ferry, which has already carried over 3,000 passengers since the opening last Friday, becomes a strong and viable service.

He said: ‘On a personal level I love the Labour party and have met some inspirational people through Momentum but my loyalty, like Cllr. Clare Satchwell’s, is to the community.’

Leader of the Havant Labour Party Richard Brown argued Ms Meales is not in a position to ban any members. He said: ‘I have spoken to the regional office and only the Labour party can ban people.’

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