A former Welsh Government Minister who represented Rhondda for the Labour Party for 13 years has had his application to rejoin the party rejected.
Leighton Andrews received a message on 24 March saying that his application had been rejected because the voted for the Green Party at the European Elections last year.
His Labour Party membership had lapsed in March 2019 and he said that he had voted Green because of Labour’s “failure to deal with antisemitism and its hopeless dithering on Brexit”.
Leighton Andrews, however, said that he suspected that the reasons for the rejection had more to do with his refusal to vote for Rebecca Long-Bailey in the Labour leadership election.
“I’d been wondering for two months why my promised membership card hadn’t arrived. I explained in a New Statesman article on 9 March that I hadn’t had my membership card or ballot, and I would be voting for Lisa Nandy then Keir Starmer if I did,” he wrote on his blog.
“The only conclusion I can draw from this is that I am being excluded for making it clear two weeks ago that I wouldn’t be voting for the Corbyn continuity candidate.
“The Labour hierarchy has been trawling round to find excuses to strip Labour membership of longstanding supporters like Alastair Campbell and Trevor Phillips, both of whom I count as friends, with far more urgency than they acted on anti-Semites.
“My membership matters not a jot in the current crises the country faces. Labour’s inability to forge a broad, popular movement against a government destroying democratic norms matters enormously.
“Labour needs all the friends it can get – but as we know, some people are happier in a cult of the like-minded, not a broad popular movement.”
Leighton Andrews was the AM for Rhondda between 2003 and 2013 when he was defeated by Leanne Wood, who was Plaid Cymru’s leader at the time. He had served as Education Minister and Minister for Public Services.