Derek Hatton, the firebrand former deputy leader of Liverpool City who was expelled for membership of left-wing group ‘Militant’, has been formally readmitted to the Labour Party after 34 years, it has been reported.
Mr Hatton’s return was rubber-stamped last week following a meeting of the party’s disputes panel which is overseen by the ruling national executive committee, according to the Daily Mirror.
He previously claimed to have been accepted back last September, but party sources said at the time that he was not a member.
He told the Mirror he was not prepared to talk about “particulars” of what had gone on but that “processes have happened”, adding: “I am a member of the Labour Party.”
Mr Hatton, 71, was originally expelled by the then leader Neil Kinnock for membership of the left-wing Militant Tendency.
Hatton caused controversy when he tweeted in 2012, “Jewish people with any sense of humanity need to start speaking out publicly against the ruthless murdering being carried out by Israel!”
His tweet has since been deleted, but not before Ian Austin MP criticised his re-admittance, saying: “Keen to address the Jewish community’s concerns and widespread worries that the Labour Party has been taken over by a sectarian hard-left faction, the party yesterday readmitted Derek Hatton”.
Labour peer Janet Royall added that she was “unutterably depressed that Derek Hatton has been allowed back into the Labour Party”.
It followed a national outcry in the 1980s after the council set an illegal budget and then sent out redundancy notices to thousands of staff by taxi.
The latest reported move comes as seven MPs from the opposite wing of the party quit in protest at the leadership’s stance on anti-Semitism and Brexit.
A Labour Party spokesman said: “We don’t comment on individual membership statuses.”
After seven Labour MPs resigned from the Labour party on Monday, including Luciana Berger; Hatton branded the breakaway group “pathetic”.
Speaking after it was reported he had formally been readmitted to the Labour Party 34 years after being expelled, Mr Hatton told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Of course it’s good to be back, in fact in a way I’ve never left.
“For 34 years I’ve stayed absolutely solid with the Labour Party. Never joined any other party, never actually voted for another party. Never campaigned for another party.
“And, believe you me, during the times of the Blair era, the Iraq war, the ending of clause four, etc, it wasn’t easy, and it was tempting to go.
“And that’s why when you look at the seven who now have left you think, well, how pathetic is it, how really strong are you within the Labour movement to want to run away when there is something that you disagree with?”