Ex-union rep from South Tyneside considering quitting Labour Party following a court battle with a fellow member

A former union rep says he is considering quitting the Labour Party following a court battle with a fellow member.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 21st October 2019, 1:22 pm

Peter Hamilton lodged a claim against Will Flynn, a member of South Tyneside Council, requesting access to documents he said related to accusations of racism and homophobia.

He also sought £1,000 compensation for the ‘distress and embarrassment’ the allegations had caused him.

“The judge said I may have picked on the wrong guy, but he has also given me advice for where to go from here and that is something I will contemplate,” Mr Hamilton said following last week’s (Friday, October 11) hearing at Middlesbrough County Court.

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“I believe in the Labour Party, but this has dented my confidence and my loyalty in it.

“I need to look at what I want in my life and I’m not sure I want to have the Labour Party in it anymore.”

He added: “It was a storm in a teacup, but there’s a trade union saying that if you take people across the barricades you’ve got to know the way back.

“But they just shut the door [on me] and I couldn’t get any information, there’s no victory in sight and the loser is the Labour Party.”

Summing up, District Judge Berry said the dispute had its origins in ‘infighting’ in the Jarrow Constituency Labour Party.

And he added the claim should not have been brought against Coun Flynn personally, as he was acting as an officer of the constituency party.

“I would have sooner the whole thing be dismissed,” said Coun Flynn after the hearing, “five out of six points were dismissed and the point that was accepted, they already have one third of the report.”

“I’m pleased with the way it went, although I would have preferred it not to have got here in the first place.”