AN NHS worker has said she is standing down as a councillor due to “near constant bullying and egotism” in the Labour Party.
Cllr Clare O’Hagan, a domestic assistant in the NHS and sitting councillor in Rock Ferry on the Wirral, has announced that she won’t be seeking re-election in May.
O’Hagan said that her decision was because of bullying within the North West branch of the Labour Party and controversy over the selection of party candidates.
O’Hagan had been due to stand in Rock Ferry alongside candidates Paula Basnett and Tony Murphy after Cllr Yvonne Nolan and Chris Davies were barred from standing. Cllr Nolan is now running as an independent.
In response, a Labour Party spokesperson said candidates had to achieve at least a “minimum commitment” to their roles. As a result of Cllr O’Hagan pulling out, Labour is now only running two candidates where previously it had three councillors.
In a statement to the LDRS, Cllr O’Hagan said: “I took the difficult decision to withdraw my nomination and effectively give up a job I had so many hopes for, because I felt completely drained and exhausted by the near constant bullying and egotism I witnessed as a local councillor. This is something which I have found happens more within parties than between them.
“Too many in our politics take pride in being ruthless and conniving to further their own interests, at the expense of the people we get paid to represent.”
“I get told ‘that’s the rough and tumble of the job,’ but I signed up to help people and believe that we could achieve more for our communities if there was more room for some kindness and understanding.
“I was ‘whipped’ as a Labour councillor and expected to turn up several times a week in other candidates’ wards – neglecting the people I was elected by.”
“There is little in the way of support for disabled councillors who struggle with the demands, or little sympathy for those of us with other jobs and families to look after,” she added.
“Again, I hear ‘If you can’t take the heat, etc,’ but this way of thinking excludes a majority of people from involvement in politics and leaves our politicians out of touch.
“This unfairness came to a head for me when both of my colleagues in Rock Ferry, selected by local members for their track record in working for the good of our community, were barred from standing. No regard was given to the outstanding way each performs in the role they are elected and paid to do.”
On why she pulled out the day nominations for the elections closed, Cllr O’Hagan said: “The Labour Party’s concerns didn’t enter into my thinking, just that I really need to look after myself and my family and that I can’t do that in this environment.”
Oh dear, it just gets better for liebour 🤣