Chadwell councillor Andy Walker deselected by Labour party officials

Chadwell ward councillor Andy Walker has been deselected from the Labour party after a “routine” review.

Cllr Walker, who was elected in 2010, will not be able to stand for the party in next year’s election.

He would not disclose the reason given for his deselection but said he was “sad” not to be representing the party in 2014.

Redbridge Labour group leaders said the decision was made by an independent panel that assessed all local councillors.

Leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “Every councillor has to reapply and go though a very rigorous process.

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“I have no idea what the issue with Cllr Walker was.

“It’s unfortunate we are losing him because he was a good ward councillor and I had no problems with that but I have to follow the procedure.”

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Labour sources told the Recorder Cllr Walker’s work as a leading member of the multi-party Save King George Hospital (SKGH) group “upset” leadership.

Party member Bill Howe said he is stopping his Labour membership in protest against the deselection.

But Cllr Athwal and deputy leader Cllr Wes Streeting denied the rumour.

Cllr Athwal said: “For anyone to suggest it’s SKGH is madness because everyone wants to save the hospital.”

He added that the party looks at factors including canvassing, meeting attendance and keeping in line with Labour policy Cllr Walker will continue as a member of the Labour group and Chadwell councillor until the election.

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