Liverpool

Jake Morrison quits Labour to contest Luciana Berger MP's seat

Luciana Berger
Image caption Happier times: Luciana Berger MP with Jake Morrison when he was elected in 2011

Suspended Liverpool councillor Jake Morrison has quit the Labour Party to stand against Labour MP Luciana Berger at the next general election.

The 20-year-old - the city's youngest elected councillor - was suspended following a row with the MP for Liverpool Wavertree.

Ms Berger had complained to the party about his "complete lack of teamwork".

Mr Morrison said he would stand as an Independent candidate in 2015 because "he could do a better job".

A Labour North West spokesperson said: "It is a shame that Jake Morrison has decided to resign from the Labour Party."

In his resignation statement, Mr Morrison said he had taken his decision in the wake of "problems he was facing behind the scenes in the Labour Party".

'Want to vomit'

"I wholeheartedly believed that I belonged in the Labour Party, and that I would feel at home as a member and as a Labour councillor.

"Sadly, this has not turned out to be the case," he said.

"I am a community campaigner, I don't need a script to engage with members of the public. And if people come to me with issues, my responses do not need to be appropriately agreed by the MP."

He added: "I am not anti-Labour, I am principled, and believe I can do a better job as the local MP than the incumbent."

Mr Morrison also said he was unhappy with some of Labour's policies and that talk of a possible coalition with the Liberal Democrats made him "want to vomit".

'Deeply disappointed'

He said: "Thus I am with immediate effect resigning as a member of the Labour Party. I will serve out the rest of my term as a councillor for Wavertree as an Independent."

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson tweeted: "Deeply disappointed at Cllr Jake Morrison's behaviour and his decision to leave the party."

Details of the dispute emerged earlier this month when Mr Morrison posted the wording of Ms Berger's complaint on a social network site.

In it, Ms Berger told party officials that Mr Morrison was "the only councillor who chooses not to engage with my office, or get involved with our constituency activities".

Mr Morrison responded by telling North West Tonight that he was "not here to please Luciana Berger to advance my own career".

The councillor was elected in May 2011, aged 18, becoming Liverpool's youngest ever councillor.

In the local elections, he caused an upset by unseating former Liverpool City Council leader and local Liberal Democrat councillor, Lord Mike Storey.

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