Bromsgrove Council Chairman quits Labour Party to go independent - The Bromsgrove Standard

Bromsgrove Council Chairman quits Labour Party to go independent

Bromsgrove Editorial 8th Jun, 2024 Updated: 10th Jun, 2024   0

THE BROMSGROVE District Council chairman has resigned from the Labour Party and will continue her term in the role as the authority’s figurehead and as a councillor as an independent.

And Coun Sam Ammar, as well as going independent on the district council, is also standing as an independent prospective Parliamentary candidate for the forthcoming general election.

She submitted her letter of resignation yesterday (Friday) of the Chair of Bromsgrove Constituency Labour Party (CLP) and as a Labour councillor.

It her correspondence, Coun Ammar said it was ‘due to her outrage with the Labour leadership and the NEC candidate selection process’.

She claimed she had support of the CLP and accused the national party of ‘parachuting in a candidate’.

“I led the Labour Party in Bromsgrove from a party that had no quorum in meetings (less than five people turning up in 2021) with only three councillors to eight councillors in three years.

“I chaired the party and created hybrid meetings, turned up for every meeting but two in the last three years, created placards, town centre campaigns, designed flyers, and GOTV last year.

“I worked until 2am every single night during the six weeks leading up to the local elections, carrying out all the admin work for the councillors whilst running my own ward campaign.

“This dedication to the Labour party came at great personal and financial cost.

“Once elected as a Labour councillor, I worked day and night for my community with passion, diligence, and perseverance to help anyone who reaches out.

“I wanted to understand policy and read beyond the call of duty so I can benefit as many people as possible, I did it because I cared. I cared about the people who live around me and I cared about my colleagues in the Labour Party.”

She added she applied to be the Parliamentary candidate despite being encouraged to ‘apply for more winnable seats’.

And she claimed the Labour Party had chosen not to select her because of her Palestinian heritage and the fact she shared news about Gaza, the ICJ ruling, ‘a story of her dad’s ethnic cleansing from Jerusalem in 1948’.

“I wasn’t interested, I was only interested in continuing my service in Bromsgrove, where I feel welcomed, loved and part of a warm society and caring community. I didn’t just want to be an MP, I wanted to be the MP for Bromsgrove.

“I have spent two weeks asking questions, trying hard to understand why they have dismissed my application, however, the only thing I was told is that I failed the due diligence and when I asked to see the report, they said they may share it after the elections, but not before.

“This is a violation of democratic processes and of my rights to know the grounds on which my application has been rejected.

“I have earned the respect of all political parties in Bromsgrove having chaired the council once with a majority vote, three weeks ago, they voted me back in with unanimous vote.

“The Labour leader proposed my nomination and the Conservative leader of the council, seconded my nomination.

“I received emails of support before the meeting independents and the Lib Dem leader said that everyone was impressed with my fairness in chairing and that’s why they too supported me.”

Labour’s response

A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party has selected the very best candidates to stand to be Members of Parliament.

“We’re proud of those who have been selected and Bromsgrove residents have the opportunity to vote for change with Labour and the very impressive Neena Gill.”

One local Labour source said Coun Ammar’s decision was disappointing, adding she was ‘well liked in local

Labour circles’ and would have had plenty of opportunities to run in the future.

“Neena Gill is an experienced former MEP who represented this area well and will do so again if elected in July.”

The other candidates

As well as independent Neena Gill and Sam Ammar, other candidates in the running include Conservative Bradley Thomas, Liberal Democrat Dr David Nicholl, Reform UK’s Glen Brampton, Talia Ellis (Green) and Aheesha Zahir (Workers’ Party of Britain).

Residents will head to the polls on July 4 after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a general election a fortnight ago.


‘An independent voice in Westminster’

Coun Ammar added: “Despite the stress and the burning pain of injustice, I am in this for my community as I always have been. I have therefore decided to run as Bromsgrove’s local independent candidate.

“I will do this because Bromsgrove deserves better, they deserve to have someone on the ballot who is not thinking of Keir or Rishi but of them, they deserve to have the option of a community vote.

“Unlike the others, my nominations to stand have been made by people with no political affiliation, ordinary citizens who understandably want someone who will work and who will vote in Parliament exclusively inline with the interests of Bromsgrove. I am proud to have such a loving community that raced to sign my forms while I was suffering abroad, I am lucky to have this amount of support.”

She concluded her letter by praising local Labour members and its leader Coun Peter McDonald.

“Over the last three years he has invested so much time and effort in transferring 60 years of knowledge to me through daily phone calls.

“On this occasion, he has shown me that there are some people, however few, who really do live by the principles they preach.

“While we may no longer be in the same group, we will always be on the same side.”

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