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Former Blaenau Gwent leader quits Labour party after 46 years over his ‘disdain’ towards Keir Starmer

16 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
Cllr Hedley McCarthy and Keir Starmer. Picture by U.S. Department of State (public domain).

Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter

A former leader of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council has left the Labour party after 46 years as a member because of his “disdain” for UK leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Cllr Hedley McCarthy has said that he will not be standing in the forthcoming council elections in May and thanked all those that have supported him over the years.

Cllr McCarthy said: “It’s been a tremendous privilege to represent Llanhilleth.

“The electors of Ardbeg, Brynithel, Swffryd and Llanhilleth have given me the opportunity to go on to become council leader.

“I am pleased to say that two excellent women candidates Helen Cunningham and Cheryl Hucker have been selected to replace me.

“After 46 years I did not renew my membership.

“I fundamentally disagree with Starmer who is a square peg in a round hole.

“An establishment figure, a knight, a member of the undemocratic trilateral commission, his treatment of Jeremy Corbyn and his rejection of democratic socialism is too much for me to bear.

“Politics is broken, lies are preferred to truth, war in Ukraine, Brexit a huge mistake, (Boris) Johnson is a joke and Starmer is not a part of the solution, he is part of the problem.

“The Parliamentary Labour Party is not a vehicle for progressive change, but an obstacle to it.”

‘Proud’

Cllr McCarthy added: “Twice leader of Blaenau Gwent, I am proud of the many achievements Labour has made.

“Obviously, big regeneration projects like the Ebbw Valley Railway, the Works site, new schools at Llanhilleth, Abertillery, Six Bells and Ebbw Vale.

“I am also proud of the fact that as leader I established the Holocaust Memorial Event and to have shared platforms with Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke and with Rabbi Barrie Marcus.

“I visited Auschwitz as a guest of the Holocaust Educational Trust.

“I have always stood up against racism of all kinds and defended oppressed minorities, so I am equally proud of setting up Blaenau Gwent’s Resettlement Programme, on which I still sit and where we are currently focused on the humanitarian crisis facing Ukraine.

“My disdain is for Starmer I have no argument with Welsh Labour, Blaenau Gwent Labour or Labour group.”

He added he would be “supporting and working” for a Labour victory in Blaenau Gwent to remove the independent administration.


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Richard Jenkins
Richard Jenkins
2 months ago

No such political party as Welsh Labour! He can’t join them! If he’s left Labour, he’s left the Welsh Labour branch as well!

Erisian
Erisian
2 months ago

More’s the pity. If Labour were Welsh Labour I would have no compunction about supporting them wholeheartedly.

Erisian
Erisian
2 months ago

And who can blame him. Nature abhors a vaccuum.

Rob
Rob
2 months ago

Remind me how did Labour do under Jeremy Corbyn at the last election? The worst result for Labour since the 1930s & now we are paying the price for it under this right wing Tory government who are pushing us towards the hardest Brexit possible & taking powers away from the Senedd. Imagine if Corbyn had still been the opposition leader during the Pandemic with his lunatic brother, or even now with the current events in Ukraine? The Tories would be getting away with murder if Corbyn was still leader. I don’t agree with Keir Starmer about everything but at… Read more »

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob

well, remind us who was it brought us the biggest political party in Europe? Who was it Mrs. May was going to wipe the floor with? When all she could muster was a dozen or so diehard tories at her lock-in election campaign meetings, 1000s were turning up to hear Corbyn speak at the Labour party venues. You right wingers fell hook line and sinker for all the Media claptrap – BBC, Guardian, etc. – and the corporate conglomerates could breathe again. And you same right wingers let in an absolute Oaf to run things, and oversee 1000s of unnecessary… Read more »

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob

As previously mentioned by The other contributors under Corbyn Labour was the biggest political party in Europe , In the 2017 Westminster election Under Corbyn Labour polled 40% of The vote which was more than what Blair ever achieved. The reason why Labour did so badly in 2019 was nothing whatsoever to do with Corbyn but the behaviour of The Neo Liberal Metropolitan Elite within the Labour Party who were trying to stop Brexit.Whatever the rights and wrongs about Brexit The facts are that people in The Labour Red Wall of The North and Midlands voted in favour of Brexit… Read more »

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

I was wit you right up until “neoliberal metropolitan elite” then you started going down the Tinfoil Road of the Brexiteer fools

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Corbyn is gone. You need to get over it. He was an inept leader but was not evil in the way your preferred “news” entertainment outlets painted him.

Grayham Jones
2 months ago

Kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s it’s time for a New Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago

It’s no good bemoaning Keir Starmer & UK Labour when both are not going away anytime soon.

And if I were him. If he’s truly genuine about his concerns should join a real Welsh party to make Wales the country it can and could be.

And don’t watch on as Wales suffers at the hands of the centrist Tories Be proactive for Wales & Welsh independence , not inactive and a slave to our misfortune.

Last edited 2 months ago by Y Cymro
Dafydd B
Dafydd B
2 months ago

“What the xxxx do you mean Aberbig. It has always been Aberbeeg” Anti Welsh Dinosaur. Did he go before he was pushed ? Nos da Hedless

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
2 months ago

What Cllr Hedley McCarthy has said really highlights that Keir Starmer may be addressing politics in England and that we in Wales have our own culture and politics, just the same as in Scotland and Northern Ireland – We are all Europeans. This is why Northern Ireland has their own SDLP and Scotland is SNP. The problem is that there is no independent ‘Welsh Labour Party’ but of party that is party of a centrally control UK party. You can see where this has gone in Scotland. Your resignation from the LP only is a beginning of what has already… Read more »

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