THE leader of Bromsgrove Labour Party has called on Councillor Michael Thomspon to resign and stand as a Conservative.
Coun Thompson, who was an independent councillor after leaving Labour, defected to the controlling group last week.
But Labour leader Coun Peter McDonald said in doing so he has ‘let down’ the people who joined his Charford Residents Association Party.
“Coun Thompson was first elected as a Labour councillor, but he let down his supporters by becoming an Independent,” said Coun McDonald.
“He then let them down them by joining the Conservative Party. It is time he showed some decency and stood down as a councillor.
“He should stand as a Tory in a by-election: letting the residents decide what political party they wish to support.
“Coun Thompson has treated those he represents and who voted for him with absolute contempt, making a mockery of local democracy.
“It’s time to do the honourable thing and stand down and let democracy take its course.”
Coun Thompson has defended his decision to switch parties.
He said: “I am slightly surprised that Pete is making this request. Firstly, because when councillors defected to his group at the County Council, he welcomed them with open arms and did not insist on a by-election.
“Secondly, because I left the Labour Group over a year ago. The rules of our democracy – which he wishes to take course – demands a by-election for a change in candidate, not party.
“I am not sure which rule book he is reading from, but it is not the rules of our democracy.
“I am not the first, nor will I be the last, person to change groups and parties. In fact, Jeremy Corbyn himself now sits as an independent.
“Moreover, the Labour Party has shifted its values from 2019 to 2021 more than I have; perhaps Pete should resign given he remains such an avid supporter of the former leader, who now sits the back benches as an independent.”
Coun Thompson added that he will continue to serve the people of Charford in the ‘same manner’ as he always has done.