The Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy has left Labour, citing concerns over antisemitism in the party and the “abuse suffered by Luciana Berger.”
The former Labour MP said her decision was provoked by the resignation of Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger from the party and Derek Hatton’s readmission to Labour.
The ex-chair of Labour Friends of Israel said she will continue to carry out her duties as police commissioner until she retires from office in May 2020 and will not be seeking reelection.
Her deputy Emily Spurrell announced she would be resigning in protest, declaring in a statement Kennedy’s action was the “wrong thing to do for the people of Merseyside.”
Kennedy said: “I am disappointed to report that Emily Spurrell has chosen to resign from her post as my Deputy.
“She has done so because I confirmed to her that I left the Labour Party after the resignation of Luciana Berger MP and the announcement that Derek Hatton had been re-admitted into party membership.
“Emily has been aware that I have been deeply disturbed by the abuse suffered by Luciana Berger and other Labour elected members across Merseyside.
“I was elected to promote action against hate crime, amongst other things, and am no longer able to defend what the Labour Party allows to happen in its name.”
In a statement, Spurrell said: “I am extremely saddened and disappointed with this decision and believe it is the wrong thing to do for the people of Merseyside who voted for a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner to put Labour values at the heart of policing.
“Merseyside have lost over 30 percent of their funding since 2010 and continue to suffer under this Conservative government’s pernicious programme of austerity. This is why I firmly believe we need a strong Labour voice as Police and Crime Commissioner.”
Derek Hatton, the former deputy leader of Liverpool City, was readmitted last month and suspended two days later, 34 years after he was expelled by Neil .Kinnock for his membership to the far-left group Militant.