Labour duo’s reasons for Wyre group exit

Councillors Ruth and Ian Duffy have resigned from the Wyre Labour group
Councillors Ruth and Ian Duffy have resigned from the Wyre Labour group

Two long-standing Fleetwood Labour councillors have resigned from the Wyre group after a fall-out within the local party.

Councillors Ruth and Ian Duffy, the husband and wife team who have been central figures for Wyre Labour for the last 15 years, will not contest the 2019 elections.

But the duo, who both represent the town’s Mount ward, say they will continue as independent councillors until next May after withdrawing from the party whip.

Coun Ruth Duffy said her husband had already made the decision to stand down in 2019 due to ill health.

But she said more recent developments had led her to leave the group - and the national party - as well.

Prior to her resignation, Coun Ruth Duffy had been the deputy leader of the Wyre Labour group and was a previous leader of it.

She said: “The reasons are nothing to do with wider Labour policy, we are both supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.

“In my case it is more to do with personal issues within the local party.

“It is very sad because it also means leaving the Labour party itself, which I have been involved with for 30 years.

“I am still a socialist and believe in the party’s aims.

“But we thought it best for the Labour Group and the folk of Wyre if we stepped aside now and left the rest of the Labour group to concentrate on best serving the community rather than arguing amongst ourselves.”

Coun Duffy added that some members had fallen out quite badly at a recent meeting, causing the Wyre Labour Group to be a much less effective opposition at Wyre,

The councillor said it made sense to leave rather than let the arguing continue and get in the way of the group’s role.

But she added: “We will still serve people in the ward and will not be joining any other party.

“In fact come 2019 we will be doing our bit to get as many of the new Labour Party candidates elected onto Wyre Council because we believe the people of Wyre deserve better than they are getting from this Tory-led Wyre Council.”

In another move within the Wyre Labour group, Coun Brian Stephenson has decided not to contest his Park ward seat next May.

It is understood Coun Stephenson was facing de-selection, but he did not wish to comment.

Coun Rob Fail, leader of Wyre Labour group, also did not want to comment on any of the issues.