Labour’s general secretary has objected to a bid by former firebrand councillor Derek Hatton to rejoin the party.
Mr Hatton, the former deputy leader of Liverpool City Council, was thrown out of Labour in 1986 for belonging to the left-wing Militant faction.
The 67-year-old told ITV Granada he had rejoined the party two days after its general election defeat.
“I just felt I should do something,” he said, saying there was now “no difference between the parties”.
However he will need to appeal against the objection, from general secretary Iain McNicol, if he wants to continue with his application.
The Militant Tendency, which emerged from a Trotskyist group called the Revolutionary Socialist League, held key positions in the Liverpool Labour Party as it battled the Conservative Thatcher government in the 1980s.
Derek Hatton re-joins Labour Party 29 years after expulsion. But…………
He was once dubbed a ‘firebrand’, was a member of the far-left Militant organisation and was one of Labour’s most controversial figures in the 1980s.
Now, 29 years after he was expelled, the former Deputy Leader of Liverpool City Council, Derek Hatton, is returning to the Labour Party.
In an exclusive interview with ITV Granada’s political programme Party People, 67-year-old Hatton revealed he re-joined the party on the 9th of May, two days after it suffered one of its worst ever electoral defeats, to ‘have one more go at having a say in the way the Labour Party is going’.
He told Party People Presenter Rob McLoughlin:
To some it will be a surprise to see Hatton re-admitted to the Labour Party, given the list of controversies which followed him in his political career and the way his relationship with the party broke down back in 1985.
He was at the centre of one of the great political storms of Thatcher’s Britain when Liverpool Council refused to comply with the Conservative government’s mandate to limit local council spending.
Hatton and the left-wing Labour Council refused to set a legal budget for the 1985/86 year, putting council jobs at risk and causing a financial crisis in the city.
Their rebellion was eventually defeated and at the Labour Party conference Neil Kinnock denounced the ‘grotesque chaos’ of Hatton and the Liverpool City Council before the National Executive Committee suspended the Liverpool district Labour Party and ordered an investigation.
The result was the expulsion of all Militant Tendency members from Labour.
“DEREK HATTON REJOINS LABOUR
Good morning – we’ve got all the reaction this morning to the breaking story that Derek Hatton has applied to rejoin the Labour party.
Derek Hatton has applied to rejoin the Labour Party, having been kicked out of it 29 years ago.
He rejoined – online – the day after Labour’s general election defeat, and told the ECHO he wants to ensure that the party maintains its historical links with the trade unions.
But at 67, Degsy has no desire to seek high office – so he won’t be challenging Joe Anderson, then, in a bid to become Mayor of Liverpool!
He told the ECHO: “I have no intention of being a main player. I have not joined to stand as a politician, I am just giving my opinion.”
Hatton wouldn’t be drawn on Andy Burnham’s bid to be the next Labour leader, saying only: “He’s a great Evertonian.”