Council exiles set to turn backs on party line

New Labour, Old Labour: Tensions rise as NEC disbands Hackney, sacks a 'terrorist' candidate and hears of Blair 'favouritism'

The ruling Labour Group on Hackney Council in north-east London was disbanded by the national party yesterday in a move likely to result in further chaos within Britain's poorest borough.

Thirty-nine Labour councillors were told by the party's National Executive Committee that they would have to sign special declarations before they would be allowed to rejoin. There were indications last might that around half would rather be expelled than toe a party line they consider unacceptable.

A proposal to disband the group was passed "on the nod"following a split last week when 17 out of 36 voting Labour councillors teamed up with Conservative and Liberal Democrats to vote down the party's official candidate for mayor.

It was the last straw for the NEC, which has spent months investigating the group over allegations of dirty tricks, vote-rigging and the disputed formation of an unofficial caucus called the Manifesto Group.

Richard Burningham, Labour's general secretary for Greater London, said the group would be disbanded rather than suspended and would be invited to re-join next week when members would be presented with a declaration re-affirming the party's rules and standing orders.

"If anyone refuses to sign, then they are out, expelled," he said. That could leave the way open for a hung council - something many councillors believe the national Labour party would welcome. Taking Hackney out of its control would remove a major embarrassment.

The group will be re-formed around four officers: Nick Tallentire, the Council Leader, Julie Grimble, the group's secretary, Bill Leadbitter, its chairman, and Peter Kenyon, the chief whip.

Mr Burningham confirmed the declaration to abide by party rules would also include points specific to Hackney, points that many of those disbanded may find unpalatable.

"Some draft standing orders have been proposed by Peter Kenyon which included the Labour Party model and some other conditions he considered desirable," said David Phillips, one of the rebels who has been earmarked separately for suspension by the NEC.

"We have said we would want a collegiate debate over whether or not they are reasonable. However, if they are simply going to be imposed as a condition of rejoining, then I think the majority of the group will find that very difficult to stomach."

He said expelled councillors had no intention of forming an opposition group and he described the Manifesto Group as "a myth".

Mr Burningham said there was no question of the declaration being drawn up only by Mr Kenyon.

Mr Tallentire said the NEC's decision vindicated his actions over recent months in his dispute with his fellow councillors.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
voicesBy the man who has
people... and stop them from attacking people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?