Hartlepool Labour Party can confirm that Stephen Akers-Belcher has left the Labour Party following his suspension for accusations that he had failed to live up to the minimum standards required for party membership.

A spokesperson for Hartlepool Labour Party said:

“It is clear that Councillor Akers-Belcher was very upset at the deselection of his friends and family by the Labour Party in the run up to these local elections, as well as the vote of no confidence in his husband’s leadership of the Council. However, that is no excuse for the alleged behaviour that led to his suspension and which would constitute standards well below that expected of a person in his position. It appears that he has chosen to quit, rather than defend himself.

He has become a distraction to the work that the Labour Party is doing to improve Hartlepool; better jobs, cleaner neighbourhoods, safer streets, better healthcare, a stronger, more vibrant town. His resignation is welcomed – change is upon us”

In 2013 the leader of the Council, Christopher Akers-Belcher was asked about what councillors who resign from the Labour Party should do, he said:

“They are no longer in the Labour Group and they have no mandate to be a councillor and as such should abide by their conscience and seek re-election through a duly called by-election. They were elected as Labour candidates and once they lose that brand they speak for no-one but themselves.”*

A spokesperson for Hartlepool Labour Party said:

“The Party expects Stephen Akers-Belcher to abide by these words and resign from the council immediately. The local Party has begun active preparations for a high profile by-election campaign in the Manor House ward where it can take a positive message to local residents.”

Local elections to decide who controls the council take place on Thursday May 2nd, with a by-election in Manor House anticipated shortly thereafter.

*Hartlepool Mail, 23rd April 2013 - https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/…/question-row-pair-resign…

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