Iain Malcolm's council and Labour departure 'long overdue' South Shields MP says as she calls on others to follow
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has welcomed the departure of council leader Iain Malcolm in the wake of years of unrest between the two Labour politicians.
Ms Lewell-Buck has issued a statement in the wake of the resignation of Mr Malcolm from their party and from his positions with the council, with news of his decision emerging earlier today, Tuesday, November 17.
He has also stepped down from his position as leader of South Tyneside Council, a position he held for 12 years, and as a councillor for the Horsley Hill ward on the authority, having served as a ward member for 32 years.
Mr Malcolm is yet to comment publicly about his decision, and his Twitter account has now disappeared from the social media site.
An inquiry into bullying claims against him, made by senior officers working for the authority, were being investigated by an external independent investigator and was due to be referred to the council’s standards committee in due course.
The Labour Party has confirmed he has left the party, but said it was unable to comment further due to the ongoing inquiry.
It is understood the findings of that probe will remain on file with the party.
Ms Lewell-Buck, who served as a councillor for the Primrose Ward in Jarrow from 2004 to 2013 before starting her parliamentary career, has previously acknowledged the “fractured” relationship between her and the now-former council leader.
In a statement released this afternoon she said: “His departure was long overdue.
"There is now an opportunity for genuine change in South Shields and across South Tyneside.
"I will continue to ensure the best for our town.
"We face an unprecedented global pandemic and our local political leadership must be focused on the issues I always have and continue to, making South Shields the best place it can be.
"I have consistently over many years raised my concerns about the leadership of Iain Malcolm and those individuals who support him.
"It is time for them to go now too.
"I want to thank the people of South Shields, those party members and my team who have consistently stood with me for what is right.”