Ex-pitmen ban South Shields MP from Durham Miners’ Gala march over Jeremy Corbyn debacle

The Harton and Westoe Miners baner group vote a ban on MP Emma Lewell-Buck on association with group and banners.
The Harton and Westoe Miners baner group vote a ban on MP Emma Lewell-Buck on association with group and banners.
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Members of a mining heritage group have voted to ban South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck from associating herself with them.

The snub by the Harton and Westoe Banner Groupcomes after a motion was put to members by its chairman, John Watson.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has been banned from associating herself with the miners banner group

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has been banned from associating herself with the miners banner group

The ruling means Mrs Lewell-Buck will not be welcome to walk beside the banner at the annual Durham Miners’ Gala on Saturday.

The motion was in response to her resignation as shadow minister for communities and local government during the leadership crisis which has engulfed Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Watson said: “It was an unanimous decision that she should not have any association with the banner group or the banners of South Tyneside due to her stance in support of what we regard as a political coup against Jeremy Corbyn.

“This was an undemocratic decision arrived by herself and goes against the policies of the trade union movement. She is certainly out of touch with the rank and file and the mining fraternity of South Tyneside in terms of how we feel and how a leader is selected.”

“As far as we are concerned she has dug her own political grave and she can go and bury herself in her own back garden if she so wishes.

John Watson

Mr Watson said members who voted to shun the MP were all “bitter and angry” at the stance she has taken.

He added: “What angered us more is that she made a statement through Parliament in a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, but she has made no statement to her constituents – the very people she is supposed to represent.

“We feel angry and betrayed. We have an MP who has acted like a Judas and put a knife in the leader’s back. We may be a small number as a group but we represent a large community of former miners within South Tyneside, their descendants and families.

“There is a lot of respect for the fundamentals that the movement was built on and, while we understand everyone has their own opinion, she has undermined the democratic process by what she has done.

“As far as we are concerned she has dug her own political grave and she can go and bury herself in her own back garden if she so wishes.

“The next call I’ll be making will be for her de-selection.”

Mrs Lewell-Buck was unavailable for comment.

Mr Watson’s views come as Durham Miners’ Association general secretary Dave Hopper branded those who have turned their back on the Labour leader as “disgusting” adding those who supported the vote of no confidence “will not be welcome at the gala”.