A town council mayor described his own group as “manipulative” and “toxic” in an excoriating resignation statement.
Councillor Adam Rhys Davies, the mayor of Maesteg town council, announced he would be leaving Labour to sit as an independent and said the local party group had a “toxic, manipulative and ‘nagging rot’ in its upper echelons”.
In his statement, which was posted to Facebook, Cllr Davies said he felt “a significant amount of relief” in announcing his resignation from the Labour Party as he blasted the Llynfi Valley party group.
Read more:The brave volunteers who step up to police our streets for free
Cllr Davies credited his decision to the local party’s stance on certain issues, saying: “Shamefully, the silence has been deafening from some members of the group on matters which, by saying nothing, has hindered the interests of both council and public. An unjustifiable and inexcusable position but not one which has been held by all.”
He also accused some Labour councillors as having a “sense of entitlement”. He want on to say: “To be put in a position where I would have to choose party allegiance over my own constituents or self-conscience has left me somewhat frustrated and indeed puzzled in recent weeks and months and is not something I would ever be willing to do or can endure any further.”
Cllr Davies, who represents the Caerau ward, said that he will be able to better serve the community as an independent councillor.
He said: “The luxury that an independent councillor holds is to speak at free will, without fear of retribution from a political party’s stance, ‘protocol’, or stalwart members, something which I have been denied permission to do as part of the Llynfi Valley Labour Group during this council’s term, highlighting its tribalistic manner. Power has been abused, which I have personally called out, and it would be untenable for me to remain a part of the group under such circumstances. Closing ranks isn’t viable.
“I believe this newly-afforded benefit will set me in good stride in serving you all better as individuals, and as a wider community, whereby I can vote and support initiatives, irrespective of any party’s priorities or fabricated indifferences to any natural opposition.
“The double standards that have since been shown to be active by a select few within the local Labour Party has shocked me to the core and is to the detriment of those who elected them to serve.”
Cllr Davies said that most of his colleagues were hardworking and had become lifelong friends.
He added: ” I have worked alongside some of the most hardworking, principled and effective elected representatives a party could wish to have.
“I continue to have total respect for the majority of Labour colleagues on Maesteg Town Council and I have made some lifelong friends during my time with the group, forming both personal and professional relationships which I hope I will be able to maintain moving forward, regardless of party allegiance.”
The mayor finished by saying: ” I will not be silenced. I will have my say. We aren’t a dictatorship answerable to an individual or a single party. I will not toe the line for the sake of a party.
“You can all rest assured that I have your best interests at heart, which will be at the forefront of my decision making, both now, and hopefully in the future.”
A spokesman for the party group did not wish to comment.
Get stories like this straight to your inbox with our newsletters.