Labour election candidate resigns from Portsmouth party after anti-semitism row and says '˜politics is poison'
A LABOUR candidate has resigned from the party just six days before the Portsmouth City Council elections.
Claire Udy, who is standing for the Charles Dickens ward, made the announcement on Twitter this morning.
She cited a lack of support from the local party as her reason for resigning and urged people not to run for local council.
The former labour candidate said she will sit as an independent if elected.
Earlier this month, the candidate apologised ‘profusely’ for comments she made on Twitter which have been branded anti-semitic.
The councillor said she ‘deeply regrets’ the tweet posted on her personal Twitter account in 2013.
Ms Udy’s tweet said: ‘Got a barely used travel system for baby that’s worth over £500 for £100 today also. Not even a Jew. Amazing.’
Upon hearing the news of Ms Udy’s resignation from the Labour Party, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones said: ‘The Labour Party, both nationally and locally, seems to be in complete disarray at the moment. There is clearly a lot of tension between local electoral candidate Claire Udy and MP Stephen Morgan.
‘Standing for election does bring with it a number of pressures and public scrutiny on how you live your life, who your friends are and things you have said in the past.
‘This is a big wake-up call to people but I do believe members of the public have every right to scrutinise those who want to be democratically elected representatives.
‘Councillors should be upstanding members of the community and conduct themselves privately and publicly in a way that doesn’t bring the city into disrepute.
‘I would question if she should stay up for election at all.’
Paul Godier, a fellow independent candidate for Charles Dickens ward said: ‘Politics is a tough game. You have really got to be dedicated because you are representing people who would otherwise might not be represented.’
Cllr Godier disagreed with Ms Udy’s comment that people shouldn’t stand for local council.
He added: ‘I would say the opposite. We need people to stand up against divisive politics. It is hard, it is emotional and you’ve really got to be tough. But I wouldn’t tell people not to run for local council as we need better engagement.
I don’t think anything to do with the council is poison. But I do think parties need to put their wards first.’
Cllr Godier said: ‘Charles Dickens ward is the most deprived area in the south east. It needs our full attention, it doesn’t need smears. It’s got children going without dinners, it’s got drugs and violence. That should be the focus.’