UK Politics

Labour objects to Derek Hatton bid to rejoin party

Derek Hatton
Image caption Derek Hatton was thrown out of the Labour Party in 1986

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.

Image caption Derek Hatton was deputy leader of Liverpool City Council
Image copyright Dave Sinclair
Image caption A demonstration in support of the Labour council in 1985

After the then party leader Neil Kinnock condemned the council's actions, Mr Hatton, a former firefighter who had been elected to the city council in 1979, was expelled when a disciplinary panel found him guilty of membership of the Militant Tendency and of manipulating the rules of the district Labour Party.

Explaining why he had recently decided to rejoin, two days after Labour's election defeat to the Conservatives, Mr Hatton said the party had "drifted and drifted and drifted", with "the same type of Eton/Oxford person going forward" from the different parties.

"People now need to see that there is a clear choice when they go to the booth," he said.

He said he did not "for one second" expect his past to be a barrier to membership, because "the world is a different place, the Labour Party is a different place, Derek Hatton is a different person".

A Labour spokeswoman said: "The general secretary of the Labour Party has objected to this application to join."

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