Luciana Berger, a rising star of the Labour Party, has become embroiled in an extraordinary public row with a young councillor, who has accused her of driving him out of politics.
Jake Morrison, the youngest candidate ever elected to Liverpool city council, has accused the MP of making his life “unbearable”- claims which she says are “totally untrue”. Both antagonists had lodged formal complaints about each other.
Councillor Morrison created a sensation in 2011 when, at the age of 18, he unseated Liverpool Council’s former Lib Dem leader, Lord Storey. But five weeks ago, he announced that he had had enough, and intended to stand down at the next election.
What appeared to be a purely personal decision blew up into a political scandal after the young councillor received an email from Ms Berger, a shadow minister in Ed Miliband’s front bench, saying that she was lodging a formal complaint against him. “Of the 14 Labour councillors in the Wavertree constituency, you are the only one who chooses not to engage with my office,” she complained.
He retaliated with a furious letter to Ed Miliband, alleging: “Here we have in Luciana, a privately educated MP from London, who has come to Liverpool and made my life unbearable.”
This week, he took to Twitter to attack Ms Berger and her aide, former Labour regional director, Sheila Murphy. He tweeted: “Let's have some honesty now. Wondering why I'm stepping down? Ask Luciana Berger MP & Sheila Murphy, taken a dislike so driving me out.”
Labour’s directly elected mayor, Joe Anderson announced that he had urged the young councillor to take a month’s rest.
A spokeswoman for Luciana Berger said: “Cllr Morrison’s allegations are completely untrue. We work as a team in Liverpool Wavertree. Unfortunately communication with Cllr Morrison has broken down."