Ex-Leader loses Labour whip on eve of Swanley council budget
A former Leader of Swanley Town Council has been stripped
of his Labour Party membership.
Cllr Robert Woodbridge returned to the council at a by-election
just over a year ago, and was immediately appointed deputy leader
of the Labour group.
But there has been a string of rows which led to a meeting at
which he was unanimously suspended by his fellow Labour
The group leader, Cllr Mark Fittock, said this afternoon: "He
has had the whip withdrawn from him for bringing the party into
"I cannot mention why at the moment. It is an internal party
matter. and it was with regret of course."
He added: "I cannot explain any more than that because it is
likely to go to appeal."
Cllr Woodbridge was told of last week's decision in an email
It means that on the day of the annual budget meeting, the
Labour opposition will be reduced by one member.
Cllr Woodbridge can still attend meetings but will only be
recognised as an independent councillor. That in turn is likely to
reduce the Labour group's ability to influence committee meetings
and decisions, and could lead to him voting against the party.
Cllr Woodbridge said: "This was a kangaroo court. I was never
told it was taking place, I therefore was unable to defend myself
and now I find out I have lost the whip.
"This is all because I complained officially about Cllr Fittock.
This is his answer.
"I cannot believe these events are taking place."