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Former Dartford Labour general election candidate Sacha Gosine says ‘he no longer feels safe’ in party and quits to join the Greens

A former Labour general election candidate has quit the party and joined the Greens, saying “he no longer feels safe” within its ranks.

Sacha Gosine led the Labour group in opposition on Dartford council for three years and was the party’s candidate in Dartford for the 2019 election when he came second to the Tories.

Former Dartford Labour leader Sacha Gosine has resigned his membership
Former Dartford Labour leader Sacha Gosine has resigned his membership

But he said things turned sour after Jeremy Corbyn was replaced by Keir Starmer as leader of the party in 2020.

In 2022, his wife Romana, who was also a councillor, was expelled from Labour for an undisclosed “breach of rules”.

Mr Gosine claimed that it was because she had “liked” a Tweet about a friend who was standing for the Greens.

The dad-of-four said: “She was never given a chance to defend herself - just sent a letter saying she was expelled.

“Even as leader of the group, I wasn’t advised of the disciplinary action against her.”

At the time a local Labour party member dismissed claims of "disquiet" within their own ranks.

"The idea people are being pushed out is wrong," they said. “If rules were not broken none of this would have happened. It is unfortunate what happened but it did.”

They added the change in local leadership was part of a national move "away from Corbynism" to better align with what the party's direction under Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner.

But Mr Gosine said the atmosphere within the Dartford Labour party turned “toxic”.

He added: “It was very factional. I stepped down as group leader, because I knew I was about to be voted out.”

He was replaced by Cllr Kelly Grehan but she has since been superseded by former leader Jonathon Hawkes.

Just before Mr Gosine stepped down, his deputy leader, Adrian Oakley-Dow, also quit the party, which he said was for the same reason his wife had also been expelled.

The year before, Cllr Laura Edie had left Labour and joined the Greens, citing “irreconcilable differences with the national leadership” and saying the party no longer represented her "socialist values”.

Green Party candidate in Dartford, Laura Edie
Green Party candidate in Dartford, Laura Edie

Cllr Edie is now standing as the Green candidate in Dartford in the general election.

Mr Gosine said he is not looking for an immediate political comeback himself, but would campaign on behalf of Laura Edie.

He announced his resignation from Labour yesterday on X, formerly Twitter, where he said: “It's clear to me that if you are a person of colour or from an Islamic background that you are going to be treated a lot less fairly.

“I no longer feel that Labour is a safe place for me, which is why I have resigned my membership and joined the Green Party.”

Mr Gosine is of Indian heritage, but he is not a Muslim. He said he felt that Labour had become more hostile to ethnic minorities since Jeremy Corbyn was ousted.

He said: “Look at what’s happened to Diane Abbott and to Faiza Shaheen in Chingford.

“Starmer has just rowed back on the promises he made about seeking a ceasefire in Gaza. It’s very difficult for Muslims now. There’s a lot of Islamaphobia.

“Anyone of colour felt a lot more comfortable in Labour under Jeremy Corbyn.”

A Labour Party spokesman said: “Keir Starmer has changed the Labour Party and put it back into the service of working people. We are focussed on electing a Labour government so that we can deliver the change that people in Dartford, and across the country, need.”

Other candidates standing in Dartford are Jim Dickson (Lab), Gareth Johnson (Con), Kyle Marsh (Lib Dem) and Lee Stranders (Reform UK).

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