MPs plea to regional Labour executive fell on deaf ears

Date published: 20 September 2009

The plea of Heywood & Middleton MP Jim Dobbin, along with Leader of the Labour Party on Rochdale Council, Councillor Colin Lambert and his deputy Councillor Peter Williams, to the regional director of the Labour Party Anna Hutchinson to postpone action against the seven local Labour party members known as the 'Rochdale Seven' fell on deaf ears - the seven had been charged, and subsequently found guilty, of bringing the Labour party into disrepute following a complaint by Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate Simon Danczuk.

The MP and two councillors fear the fallout from the dispute will have long lasting detrimental effect on the Labour Party in Rochdale Borough.

Below is the email sent Ms Hutchinson:

Dear Anna,

As the local Member of Parliament Jim Dobbin MP and the Leader Cllr Colin Lambert and Deputy Leader Cllr Peter Williams of the RMBC Labour Group, we feel compelled to make an intervention in the current dispute involving members of Rochdale CLP and Mr Simon Danczuk the PPC for the Rochdale Constituency.

For reasons of protocol, we have refrained from making any intervention in this sad and damaging saga.

However, without commenting or expanding on any of the allegations relating to this matter, we would urge the National Executive and Regional Party to reflect on the wisdom of pursuing this tasteless and self defeating issue further.

Everyone concerned with pursuing this matter needs to be aware of the following basic facts. these members of our local party are both individually and collectively, long standing, high profile and hard working Labour Party members.

The fallout from this mess will be extremely damaging to Labour's standing in this borough.

In the interests of fairness, common sense and natural justice we urge the following action as a first step in the healing process.

Postpone any immediate action, introduce a three months cooling down period where informal bridge building can take place. do not instigate anything that will be seen as unjust and will damage the local party irrevocably.

Yours sincerely

Jim Dobbin MP
Cllr Colin Lambert
Cllr Peter Williams

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