Former Portsmouth Labour candidate says she felt ‘harassed’ and ‘unsupported’ by party

Claire Udy
Claire Udy

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Claire Udy has revealed the reasons behind her decision to resign from the Labour Party just days before the council elections.

This morning the candidate resigned from the party, stating that ‘politics is poison’ and announcing her decision to run independently if she is elected, as it is too late for her name to be removed from the ballot paper.

In her statement, Mrs Udy said that she felt unsupported by local executive members and that she felt she had ‘no choice in the matter’.

Mrs Udy was under investigation following a tweet she posted on her personal Twitter account five years ago which was investigated for being anti-semitic.

She said: ‘My decision to leave the Labour Party is the culmination of many months of feeling unsupported by the local executive members who have been running our local election campaign.

‘Whilst I was under investigation for the comment I had made five years ago, I was reassured four days ago by the regional office that the local Labour Party had been instructed to support me.

‘Instead, certain executive members met in secret, harassed me at my home and presented me with further allegations with no evidence.

‘I joined Labour after Jeremy Corbyn became leader and was inspired to work in my local community. I shall continue to do so, but without party affiliation. I apologise to those who have already voted for Labour on their postal votes, but I want to reassure you that whilst I am no longer in the party, my views still closely align with the national Labour movement.

‘It is a shame that it had to end this way, but I feel like I have no choice in the matter. I would like to thank those within the local party who continued to show their support and those who up until yesterday were still knocking doors for me.’

Following the news of Mrs Udy’s resignation, a statement from the Portsmouth Labour Party said: ‘Portsmouth Labour acted swiftly after Mrs Udy’s tweets raised concerns of anti-Semitism. She was quickly reported to the national party and subsequently placed under investigation.

‘The views expressed on social media rely on malicious and abhorrent anti-semitic tropes that have no place in public discourse.

‘You can’t have a “semi-zero tolerance” approach to anti-semitism and it is little surprise that Mrs Udy has resigned.

‘Our only regret is that, as a result of Mrs Udy’s actions, our party has been denied the opportunity to offer local people in the city’s most deprived ward a candidate to serve them with true Labour values and help deliver our positive plan for Portsmouth.’

Councillor Stephen Morgan MP said: ‘I’ve been clear that a zero-tolerance approach to anti-semitism must mean more than just a slogan.

‘Any Labour candidate or councillor must not only abide by our party’s principles of anti-racism and tolerance, but is also required to follow the rulebook with regard full disclosure of past behaviour so that these standards can be upheld.’