JARROW MP Stephen Hepburn has intervened in a long-running club row in South Tyneside.
Officials at Brigham & Cowan Club, off Mile End Road, South Shields, were accused of “blacklisting” members of Jarrow Ex-Servicemen’s Club.
Jarrow Ex members were angry at being forced to sign in at the South Shields club and pay a small entrance fee.
This followed doubts over whether the long-established Jarrow club was still a member of the Club & Institute Union (CIU), after the premises in North Street, Jarrow, were bought out and renamed The Tunnel Club in 2011.
The row seemed to have been resolved last month, after Durham CIU and the organisation’s London headquarters both confirmed Jarrow Ex was not a member of the national club organisation.
But now the club saga has taken another twist, after CIU president George Dawson said Jarrow Ex is a member.
In a letter to Mr Hepburn, after the Jarrow MP was asked to intervene in the row, Mr Dawson said the matter had been discussed by the CIU national executive, and accused Durham CIU officials of being “over-zealous” in their interpretation of the rules.
He said: “As far as we are concerned, the club is a bona fide member of the CIU.
“It would appear that the branch and rules secretary had been over-zealous in their interpretation of the union’s constitution.
“I hope this matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.”
But Bob Growcott, secretary of Brigham & Cowan Club, said: “We have seen this letter, in which Durham CIU is accused of being over-zealous. But as far as I am concerned, the Jarrow club is still not a member of the CIU, according to the rules, and we will still ask their members to sign in.
“This matter is to be the subject of a full investigation by the CIU, and the status quo remains until the outcome of that investigation.”
Former shipyard worker Bob Cusworth, a Jarrow Ex member for 50 years, who lodged the original complaint against Brigham & Cowans, believes the club should “relent” and treat him and others as full CIU members.
Mr Cusworth, 76, said: “The letter to Stephen Hepburn from the CIU president proves that Jarrow Ex is still and always has been a member of the CIU.”