Labour suspends its South Shields branch over '˜bullying and intimidation'

South Shields Constituency Labour Party has been suspended until next year after a probe revealed a culture of bullying and intimidation.

The suspension will now see representatives from Labour North looking after the day to day administration while issues highlighted by the probe are addressed.

News of the suspension was delivered to officers of South Shields CLP today after investigation into the running of the party found a “genuine problem” in the relationships between some members and a “deep separation” within different elements of the party.

The party will remain suspended until January 2017.

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Labour North has confirmed the move will be no impact on the elections and councillors will stand as normal.

Moves will now be taken to rectify the issues, believed to have been long-standing within the party, as well as additional training sessions and a renewed focus on campaigning in the community.

A spokesman for Labour North, said: “The Labour Party has informed the local constituency party of the outcomes of its investigation in the conduct of South Shields CLP.

“The investigation has found there is a genuine problem in the relationships between some members, and there is a deep separation of different parts of the local party that is not seen in other CLPs.

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“Labour will not accept bullying and intimidation in any form.

“The party are therefore suspending South Shields CLP until January 2017 so a number of changes can be made to improve the working of the local party including all member meetings, training sessions and a renewed focus on campaigning in the community.

“We are hopeful that this suspension will be short and that all members in the constituency party can play a part in bringing the local party together.”

South Shields MP, Emma Lewell-Buck, said: “I’m proud to be a member of a party that is not afraid to take action against bullying and intimidation.

“I welcome the recommendations of the Labour Party’s report into how we change South Shields Constituency Labour Party.”