Jarrow MP 'looks forward to working with new council leader' after Iain Malcolm's quits Labour
Iain Malcolm left the Labour party and stepped down from his position as council leader and the ward member for Horsley Hill earlier this week.
He had served as a councillor for 32 years and spent the last 12 in the top position, with the Labour Party stating it could not comment further due to an ongoing investigation.
In September, it emerged senior officers had raised a complain about him, detailing bullying behaviour which left them “fearful, bullied and controlled” as they tried to do their jobs.
His deputy, Councillor Tracey Dixon will now take on the role of leader, with suggestions Mr Malcolm’s departure could signal a “fresh start” for the majority group.
His departure has been welcomed by South Shields Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck, who served under him as a councillor before launching her parliamentary career in 2013, with a fractious relationship acknowledged between the politicians.
She said his “departure was long overdue” and added there was “now an opportunity for genuine change in South Shields and across South Tyneside” in the wake of his decision, adding a call for those who supported him to follow.
She added the focus must now go on helping the borough through the pandemic.
Today, her Jarrow counterpart said: “I understand that Iain Malcolm has left the Labour Party and has stood down as Leader of South Tyneside Council as well as a South Tyneside Councillor.
“However, as there is an ongoing investigation, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time.
“We are currently in the middle of a global pandemic and my primary focus is on assisting and standing up for the people of the Jarrow constituency with the problems we are facing, from financial support to educational matters amongst other very important issues.
“I look forward to working with Councillor Tracey Dixon - the new interim leader of South Tyneside Council.
"We need to continue to work together to help fight this dreadful virus and stand up for the communities we represent.”