Thursday, 4 April 2013

Protest to defend Labour Councillor Kevin Bennett from disciplinary action for opposing cuts

I posted yesterday about the threat Kevin Bennett was facing of disciplinary action by Labour for voting against the cuts.  Today was his hearing - and the protest outside it at Warrington town hall.

I was very pleased to see a highly visible presence on the protest from UNITE, including officers and organisers, Executive Council members and members of the Regional Political Committee.  UNITE has long standing policy of supporting councillors who vote against cuts, but this is the first public sign I've seen of beginning to implement it.

 Kevin was among a number of speakers who addressed the crowd:
If we're serious about opposing the cuts to services and jobs, I think UNITE needs to move from a relatively passive policy of supporting councillors whether they vote for or against cuts, to actively asking councillors to vote against them, which would help increase the numbers and make it harder for them to be picked off.  UNITE should also make clear that we will continue to support councillors expelled from Labour for opposing cuts - including if they stand for re-election.

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