by Cobbler's apprentice
Long-standing Labour councillor Eddie Murphy from Crook has quit the party over its policy of giving priority seats to women candidates. He intends to fight the elections for Durham’s new unitary authority on May 1 as an Independent, and predicts that more will follow his example.
Cllr Murphy, who has been chairman of Wear Valley District Council for the past two years, failed to gain selection after Labour installed Ruth Seabury as the “compulsory woman” in one of the two seats in the Crook South ward. “I don’t believe in discrimination of any kind and this is going too far,” said Cllr Murphy, “I have also been uneasy ever since the invasion of Iraq. I had hoped that things would change when Gordon Brown took over as prime minister, but nothing has.
“Other local Labour parties in County Durham have yet to select their candidates, and I predict that quite a few other people will find themselves in my position.”
Cllr Murphy has been a councillor for 13 years and a Labour party member for over 20 years. After serving in the RAF for 15 years he worked for Durham City council and was NALGO branch secretary for 13 years.