The former deputy leader of Flintshire Council has left the Labour Party, it has been confirmed.
Bernie Attridge was sacked from the authority’s ruling cabinet in March after he was accused of a breach of confidence by then leader Aaron Shotton.
This afternoon he tweeted to say: “Finally decided that the Labour Party is not for me.”
Finally decided that the Labour Party is not for me!!
— @BernieAttridge (@bernieattridge) May 3, 2019
The decision to remove him from his post as deputy leader and cabinet member for housing sparked anger among some members of the community and led to a protest being held in both men’s home town of Connah’s Quay.
The fall out ultimately led to Cllr Shotton, who is the subject of an ongoing conduct investigation, stepping down due to ‘intolerable pressure’.
It was hoped the appointment of Flint’s Ian Roberts as his replacement last month would heal the rifts within the party.
However, it has been revealed that Cllr Attridge will be quitting to become an independent.
Cllr Roberts said: “I was very disappointed to hear the news that Cllr Attridge feels he can no longer remain within the Labour Group.
“He’s made a number of positive contributions over the years for which we are grateful.”
Cllr Attridge also spoke out last month to deny involvement in an anonymous letter containing ‘malicious’ allegations against senior officers.
It came after chief executive Colin Everett issued a stern letter to politicians in which he accused a senior councillor of feeding information to the author of a note which referenced a police investigation into his appointment.
The letter also mentioned a leaked recording dating back more than 10 years, which is understood to have played its part in the spat between Cllr Attridge and Cllr Shotton.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).