Second time lucky? – former independent South Shields councillor tries to join Labour again

SECOND GO ... Terry Haram has applied again to rejoin the Labour Party.
SECOND GO ... Terry Haram has applied again to rejoin the Labour Party.

A FORMER independent councillor on South Tyneside Council is hoping it’s second-time lucky as he makes a bid to join the Labour Party.

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.

Always Labour-leaning, and a former member of the party, he applied to rejoin its ranks last year. But his application was rejected by South Shields Constituency Labour Party as it breached a “two year rule” technicality.

That required a two-year gap between an applicant having opposed a Labour candidate at an election and being accepted back into the fold.

Now a second bid has been accepted by the party nationally and he’s waiting to hear if local officials endorse it.

The retired South Tyneside College lecturer admits to missing the cut and thrust of political life.

And he’s eager to join up in time to support the party locally at May’s General and Local Elections.

Mr Haram, 65, said: “I think the local party today is a lot more organised and I think nationally there is a need for a Labour government. I want to help achieve that and the only way I can help, other than voting, is join the Labour Party and perhaps join in the campaigning, if it’s the wish of constituency party.

“The information I was given when I was turned down was that there was this rule which required a two-year gap between opposing a Labour candidate and being accepted as a member. That time lapse has passed and I am not aware of any reason why I might be turned down.

“I’ve had my email from Ed Miliband welcoming me to the Labour Party but now it’s subject to approval by the executive at South Shields Constituency Labour Party.”

Mr Haram has also not ruled out standing for election again at some stage in the future. He said: “I enjoyed being on the council. I think I did a good job and if an opportunity was to present itself again, I would not say no.”

Mr Haram, a father of two and grandfather to four, has kept himself busy in his time away from the political fray.

Governor and vice chairman at Ashley Primary School in South Shields, he is also a volunteer there two and a half days a week and a lay member of the borough’s Safeguarding Board.

He added: “At first I didn’t miss politics because I was still getting used to retirement and looking after my grandson half of the day. I didn’t have time to miss it initially, but now I’ve got the time.”

A spokesman for South Shields Constituency Labour Party confirmed Mr Haram’s application would be considered in due course.

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul