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04.03.19

Council’s deputy leader ‘forced out’ of Labour selection in ‘hard-left stitch up’

The deputy leader of Wirral Council has hit out at a “hard-left stitch-up” after she was “forced out” by the Labour Party ahead of upcoming elections.

Bernie Mooney, who had been tipped by other councillors to be Wirral’s next leader, has said she felt “betrayed” after she was deselected by Labour’s Liscard branch after being chosen last year to run in May.

But the Local Campaign Forum (LCF) said it had found a “number of procedures” had been breached in her selection in October, after which a “series of complaints” were made as the process was “not fairly done.”

Mooney, who is also the cabinet member for children and families, said she was “bitterly disappointed,” stating: “This was a democratic process, but one where the result didn't fit with the hard-left agenda.

“Last night, their stitch-up paid off and I was deselected – not because I was a bad councillor, not because I didn't do my job and serve my constituents, but because I stood up and refused to be bullied.

“This was a politically motivated decision, made because my views didn't fit with their narrow ideology.”

She added: “This unelected, hard-left cabal have infiltrated the Labour Party. They bully and intimidate fellow members, and abuse the systems in order to get their own way.

“Sadly, the needs of local residents come a distant second. I fear for the future of the Labour Party in Wirral. [The hard-left] are determined to use their outdated ideology to drag our borough back to the 1980s.”

The council and its Labour Group have recently come under fire several times following the resignation of councillors, an MP, and the authority’s leader Phil Davies – who announced in October that he would be resigning – also hit out following Mooney’s deselection.

Davies said it was “yet another example of a good, hard-working councillor being forced out of serving their community.”

“Already, councillors like Chris Meaden, Mike Sullivan and Moira McLaughlin, along with Frank Field MP for Birkenhead, have said they have had enough of this behaviour and have resigned from the Labour Party.

“Now we have lost Bernie Mooney. She deserved better.”

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