Former independent councillor returns to Labour decades after party split

Former independent South Tyneside councillor Terry Haram.
Former independent South Tyneside councillor Terry Haram.

A former independent South Tyneside councillor has returned to his Labour roots – just as the party prepares to elect a new leader.

 Terry Haram served the Whiteleas ward in South Shields as an independent for nine years until his defeat to Labour’s Coun Doreen Purvis at the 2012 local elections.

Originally a Labour stalwart, he had left the party when it divided into various factions locally back in the 1990s.

But now an application to rejoin Labour’s ranks has been accepted by the executive committee of South Shields Constituency Labour Party.

It was second time lucky for the retired South Tyneside College lecturer after an application fell foul of party rules two years ago.

Now Mr Haram is looking forward for campaigning for the party and promoting Labour values – with no immediate plans to seek elected office.

He says he doesn’t anticipate any lingering animosity from former political opponents, and pledged to work closely with Whiteleas Labour councillors Ernest Gibson, Doreen Purvis and Bill Brady.

As for the outcome of tomorrow’s Labour leadership, Mr Haram, 66, pledged to support whichever candidate emerges triumphant.

He said: “I didn’t have a vote in the leadership election. I didn’t think it was appropriate to pay the £3 subscription and have a vote when I was, essentially, in limbo over my future over my membership of the party.

“If I had been voting I would have listened to what the constituency party said and then made my mind up as an individual.

“I really haven’t made up my mind over the leadership, but I’ll be giving my support to whoever wins over the next four and a half years up to the next General Election.

“On a personal level I’m not anticipating any opposition to my return and I’m looking forward to working closely with Bill, Ernest and Doreen.”