'Labour is divided and party politics are a distraction': Northampton borough and county councillor to stand as independent
A Northampton borough and county councillor has left "divided" Labour to stand as an independent candidate citing distracting party politics and differing leadership styles as her reasons for departure.
Councillor Julie Davenport represents the Delapre & Briar Hill ward in her borough role and the Delapre and Rushmere ward on the county council.
She was first elected to Northampton Borough Council in 2015 then to Northamptonshire County Council in last year's local elections.
"It is after much thought and with great regret that I have made the difficult decision to leave the Labour Party," said Councillor Davenport.
"However, the local Labour Party is divided. Leadership styles within the borough group are constantly creating conflict and outside influences are moving the party in a direction that I am not happy or comfortable with.
"It is widely known that I was a great supporter of parliamentary candidate Kevin McKeever.
"I believed totally in his ability to be an excellent MP for this area. The constituents loved him.
"I was very disappointed in his deselection after all the hard work he had put in for Northampton South.
"This is just one public example of how the local party is changing. I believe that these party politics are becoming a distraction to me."
Councillor Davenport said she would continue to help all the residents in her wards without being distracted by party politics.
"It was a great honour to be elected first as a borough councillor and then as a county councillor. My sole aim when I stood for these roles was to improve the lives of and fully represent my local residents," she said.
"I absolutely love my role as a councillor. The residents of the areas I represent are wonderful people and many are my friends.
"Some residents may be disappointed by my decision but I want to reassure them that nothing will change, I will continue to help all people in the area.
The only difference is that as an Independent councillor I won’t be distracted by party politics. I hope in the future to be able to work constructively with all my fellow councillors."