Former Portsmouth Labour leader joins anti-Brexit Renew party

Former Labour councillor 'John Ferrett who has now joined Renew''Picture: Malcolm Wells
Former Labour councillor 'John Ferrett who has now joined Renew''Picture: Malcolm Wells
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PORTSMOUTH’S former Labour leader has revealed his ambitions to run in the next general election after joining a new political party.

Councillor John Ferrett has pledged his allegiance to Britain’s newest political movement, Renew.

The group is seen as an anti-Brexit party that looks to strike a balance between the hard-left and right, providing a new offering to the electorate hitting the polls of the future.

And now the experienced Paulsgrove councillor says he is eager to run for parliament.

He said: ‘I have been saying for some time since I resigned from the Labour Party that I was hoping a new party would be formed, one that was focused on Brexit and that was Remain-based and could appeal to the moderates in Labour and the Conservatives.

‘Clearly I thought it was time to put my money where my mouth is.

‘I feel there really does need to be a political alternative and Renew offers exactly that.’

Cllr Ferrett is the party’s third representative to have a seat on local councils in Britain.

Founded last autumn, the party’s membership has already swelled with Renew now hoping to mobilise a 650-strong team nationwide to eventually contest the general election.

When asked if he would put his name down to run for parliamentary office, Cllr Ferrett said: ‘I will be interested for standing for Renew in the next general election, whenever that might be.’

Cllr Ferrett had been in the Labour Party for 27 years before resigning from the role and working as an independent city councillor in Portsmouth.

He said he disagreed with the politics of his former party and did not support Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Cllr Ferrett would not be pressed on whether he would form any allegiances with political parties in Portsmouth.

However, he said: ‘I will do what I believe is right for the city,’ adding he has previously voted on issues supporting both the Liberal Democrats and Tories in the past.

As well as being a representative for Paulsgrove, Cllr Ferrett is also the chairman of the city council’s governance and audits and standards committee.