By James Moules
A YOUNG socialist party received boost to its local government representation after three councillors who were formerly Labour members joined its ranks.
Veena Siva and Jenny Vinson of Spelthorne Borough Council in Surrey and Tim Green of Westgate-On-Sea Town Council in Kent have publicly announced their decision to join the democratic socialist Breakthrough Party over disillusionment with Labour.
The trio are the latest batch of councillors to join the fledgling party – which gained three councillors through defections in 2021 and another two previously in 2022.
Green, who is also south east regional chair of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “I have lost faith in the Labour Party. I feel it is letting down younger members and is betraying the socialist values it originally stood for.
“We are going back to the days of Tony Blair and I just cannot support or be a member of the party.
“Joining Breakthrough has allowed me to identify with a party that has the same beliefs that I have, including fairness, a redistribution of wealth, a robust welfare state, a well-funded NHS and public services, and nationalised utilities.”
The Breakthrough Party was set up by Alex Mays in 2021 as a new socialist party, targeting ex-Labour members who wanted a more left wing vision.
The party has since been part of the People’s Alliance of the Left, a group of left wing parties and movements aiming to unite left wing movements.
Other signatories of the PAL included the Northern Independence Party and the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
Silva, who left the Labour Party in 2020, said: “After over a year of sitting on Spelthorne Borough Council as an independent councillor for Staines Ward, I am delighted to join the Breakthrough Party, a party which represents the common good in the UK.
“I have finally found a party with the values and policy platform which are genuinely based on the principles of social, environmental and economic justice.
“It is vital that the Breakthrough Party, with its egalitarian, socialist vision, is elected into government as soon as possible, and I look forward to working with them to reverse the damage that has been wrought on the UK by the current government.”
Under its current leader Keir Starmer, the Labour Party has been widely perceived as adopting a more moderate stance than under his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn led the party through two general elections. In 2017, the party made its first net gain in seats since 1997 but fell short of victory. In 2019, Labour was reduced to its lowest number of seats since 1935.
He subsequently lost the party whip over his response to the EHRC report into Labour anti-Semitism.
Vinson said: “Since leaving Labour I have been searching for a party that shares my socialist values and genuinely wants to improve the lives of the majority of the people in this country.
“The Breakthrough Party has emerged and given me hope for the future. Since becoming a member I have been impressed with the organisation of the party and have decided to move from an independent to a Breakthrough councillor.
“I hope others in a similar position will also take the plunge.”
Breakthrough Party leader Alex Mays said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have Veena, Jenny & Tim join us.”
“They bring with them invaluable experience in local politics and trade unionism, and an unrivalled passion to build a fairer society and a fairer world.”
The Labour Party was contacted for comment.
Featured Image: Breakthrough Party
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