A FORMER independent councillor and retired college lecturer has failed in his bid to rejoin South Shields Labour Party.
Terry Haram served the town’s Whiteleas ward as an independent for nine years until his defeat to Labour’s Coun Doreen Purvis in last year’s local elections.
He lost the seat about the same time as he retired as a lecturer at South Tyneside College.
And Mr Haram, 64, said that had initially left something of a “void” in his life.
Having joined Labour more than 30 years ago, he left originally after the party locally divided into various factions in the early 1990s.
But even during his time serving as an independent he admits to considering a return to its ranks – but never did so.
Missing the cut and thrust of political debate, and wanting to disassociate himself from recent independent defections to UKIP, he eventually took the plunge and applied to party headquarters in London.
Mr Haram was accepted by head office, but at a recent meeting of the party’s executive committee in South Shields, his bid was rejected.
He said: “John Anglin, the party secretary, was kind enough to ring me up to tell me the application had been unsuccessful.
“Apparently, you can’t apply within two years of standing against a Labour candidate.
“The suggestion is that I could apply again, but I don’t know if I will.
“I enjoyed being involved in politics.
“As a member of the Labour Party, I would have enjoyed the debates at ward and constituency level and perhaps made a difference that way, or at least had my say.”
Mr Haram, an active trade unionist all his working life, is now a school governor, a school volunteer and has applied to be a governor at South Tyneside District Hospital.
He added: “I’m 65 next year, and although I’m fit and well at the moment, you never know what the future will bring.
“I enjoy staying active and busy, and with four grandchildren the school run helps me do that. I’m in no way disconsolate that the party rejected my application, but it would have been good to make a contribution.
“We’ll just have to see what the future brings.”