Labour have lost control of Wrexham Council in Wales after ten of their own councillors, including the leader of the group, walked out of the party amidst allegations of a child abuse style cover-up of poor management. They previously led the council as the largest part of a “rainbow coalition” including councillors from other groups.
Before the walk-out there were 23 Labour Councillors, meaning the opponents of the leader Cllr Neil Rogers were in a majority. This would have enabled them to force him out as leader by a resolution of the group.
The dispute is believed to have started when the Labour party became unhappy about plans to cut spending in the borough. Things got decidedly worse when Cllr Rogers fired a fellow Labour member Cllr Malcolm King from the council’s governing Executive Board.
The two men have spent most of today mudslinging at each other with Rogers claiming King was sacked for incompetence. King claimed that there had been a cover-up of concerns about how the council is being run, comparing the actions of Rogers to those who hid child abuse.
By resigning from Labour, Rogers can continue as leader of the Council – whatever King thinks of him – as long as he can hold together his coalition. Breitbart London spoke to veteran former executive committee member Cllr Bob Dutton who confirmed that Cllr Rogers was likely to stay on as leader.
Cllr Bob Dutton said: “Clearly there are very serious problems within the Labour Party and ten of their members have chosen to walk away. Its none of my business but they do need to attempt to sort it out.
“There are only 13 Labour Councillors left so there is no reason for Cllr Rogers to cease to be leader. Labour are not in the majority and cannot force him out.”
In a statement to the Daily Post Cllr Rogers said: “Today our position in the Labour Group has become untenable. Regrettably, it leaves us with no alternative but to leave the Labour Party.
“For many of us it is a very sad day. However, we cannot continue to be negatively influenced within the Labour Group on issues that affect the lives of the people of Wrexham. We have informed the Labour Whip and Chair of our decision today.”
Given the make-up of the Council and its executive it is now highly unlikely Labour will take control back unless they can persuade Cllr Rogers to return.