Barking and Dagenham Labour councillor Jim McDermott defects to Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party

Jim McDermott has defected to the Socialist Labour Party

Jim McDermott has defected to the Socialist Labour Party - Credit: Archant

A long-serving left-wing councillor has defected to Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party, bucking the recent trend of Labour councillors moving to the political right.

Cllr Jim McDermott, who has represented Eastbury ward since 2006, resigned from Ed Milliband’s party after 50 years as a member claiming “loyal” members were being replaced to “take the party on a different political path”.

He said: “I feel the party as a whole is no longer standing up for the ordinary people most affected by attacks on living standards and public services.”

The Socialist Labour Party (SLP) was formed in 1996 by trade unionists and campaign activists as a reaction to the New Labour government’s decision to drop the party’s constitutional commitment to socialism.

SLP president, Andrew Jordan, said: “More and more people like Cllr McDermott are asking why tax avoiding billionaires and banking cartels are not being called to account instead of the poor and disabled.”

General secretary, Kim Singleton, said the party was “absolutely delighted” to welcome Cllr McDermott, adding he was a “true man of the people and servant to his community”.

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