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Letter on behalf of all councillors supporting Alan Whitehead

Simon Letts, Labour Leader of Southampton City Council, has today written an open letter to all members of Southampton and Romsey Labour Party expressing unanimous support for Alan Whitehead from the 25 Labour Councillors in the city.  See below for the text of the letter:

Dear Labour Member,

I am writing on behalf of all Southampton Labour Councillors to express our full support for Alan Whitehead MP at this uncertain time for the Labour Party.  Alan has served the city as both a Councillor and MP for much of the last 35 years. His contribution to the City and to the Labour party is second to none and his decision to stand down as a Shadow Minister from the job that he loved would have been done with a heavy heart.


At this time of political turbulence and uncertainty it is essential that we remember what brought all of us to the Labour party in the first place. We all believe in a fairer society where the gap between the richest and poorest is reduced. We all believe in a National Health Service free at the point of delivery and the provision of decent homes at a cost that working families can afford.  We all believe in rights at work protected by free trade unions and a tolerant society which respects the differences between us.


The Labour party is not a pressure group or a personality cult but a political party that seeks to take and exercise power on behalf of working people. Along with my Councillor colleagues in Southampton I call for us to come together in Solidarity to offer effective opposition to the government and campaign for a better tomorrow under a Labour Government.



Simon Letts (Labour Leader of Southampton City Council)

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commented 2016-07-20 17:15:07 +0100

I wish to reply to your email recently forwarded on by Ken Prior relating to the ongoing leadership contest.

I am very disappointed in you for sending this email. I am particularly disappointed given what I considered to be a very well judged speech you gave at the recent momentum meeting.

We will need to come together after this leadership party with members, councillors and MPs all pulling together to help defeat the Tory government. It is very important to me that our elected representatives and local leadership remain neutral as this leadership battle plays out and we decide which of Owen and Jeremy has the right policies and personal character to lead our party.

This misuse of the membership list in partial manner ill suits natural justice and our internal democratic process and as such I have raised a formal objection to the email. We discussed in your presence at the Momentum meeting the need for both sides of the debate to be given equal ‘air time’ and until that is arranged I consider emails such as this anti-democratic.


commented 2016-07-20 15:37:17 +0100
Dear Simon,
As a Labour Party member I was surprised to receive your letter written on behalf of all Southampton’s Labour councillors. Does this mean that there has been a meeting? I have had two letters warning me off of any labour meetings other than to consider leadership nominations.

I am also dismayed at this statement of support for Alan Whitehead in the wake of his shameful part in the recent undermining of the Labour Party and is democratically elected leader.

How early he signed up for Owen Smith’s campaign to supplant the leader the party elected may never be known, as is the way with anti-democratic plotting, but his name on the list of people nominating the would be usurper is not representing me not I suspect many of the members of Southampton Test.

Robert Wilson

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