Labour’s leader at Lichfield District Council has welcomed an independent councillor’s decision to join his party’s ranks.

Cllr Jeyan Anketell has confirmed his decision to become a member of the Labour party going forward.

Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the opposition group on the council, said the move would strengthen the party in Lichfield.

“Jeyan did stand as an independent in Stowe Ward and has given his reasons for joining Labour and I welcome his decision. 

“He will need to abide by Labour group decisions where needed but the strength of the scrutiny committees, brought in by the Labour Government, is that they are not whipped and members from all sides are able to argue on the merits of any particular issue.

“I am confident that Cllr Anketell will do that and he has already pressed the Conservative Cabinet on their lack of action on the climate change emergency at the last council meeting.

“He will strengthen our voice in Lichfield itself along with Colin Ball and Dave Robertson.”

Cllr Steve Norman, Labour group leader at Lichfield District Council

Cllr Anketell had previously stood as a Liberal Democrat representative before standing as an independent at the local elections in May.

That vote saw him take third place in the Stowe ward vote, defeating former Conservative councillor Jon O’Hagan to a seat on the council.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

8 replies on “Independent councillor's decision to join Labour will strengthen party's voice in Lichfield, opposition leader claims”

  1. Most voters vote for the party represented, therefore any change of allegiance should create a bi-election.

  2. I did voted for him as an independent ‘voice’. I did not vote for Labour. Shameful and disrespectful of his voters!

  3. After years of local promotion from a party machine, i.e. Lib Dems, to then going Independent and now joining Labour … don’t think the people Stowe voted for this!

  4. Cllr Anketell is free to do as he wishes and if that means joining the Labour Party then so be it.

    But the following points do need to be taken into consideration

    1: the electorate in Stowe Ward voted in May 2019 for an independent and two Conservatives to represent them therefore clearly not Labour.
    2: Questions about Cllr. Anketell’s loyalty as reported in Lichfield Mercury. Founder member SDP in mid 80’s, SLD following the merger with the Liberal Party and then Liberal Democrat Party. Stood in previous elections as Lib Dem and finally elected as an independent in May 2019.
    3. Reason for joining the Labour Party really needs to be questioned for his electorate to understand, as Cllr Anketell quoted in Lichfield Mercury “ I joined the Labour Party over the internet on
    December 13, the day after the election, because, along with the Greens, the Corbynite Labour Party’s principles seemed most closely aligned to the Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Humanist and other religions’ principles of social justice, truth and integrity”

    Surely the General Election in Lichfield constituency rejected Corbynist policies or was it Corbyn alone along with Brexit that persuaded the voters to vote the way they did? This can only be answered by individual voters to the reasons the way they voted.

    For the electorate of the Stowe Ward, do they want a Labour Party representative, if so would it be more sensible to ask them that question and have a by-election to allow them to make that choice.

    It is not for me to call upon Cllr Anketell to resign , as I started with, he is absolutely within his right to align himself with which ever political party he wishes but he must be very conscious he was elected as an independent and therefore question his own integrity and conscious accordingly as a decent and respectable person.

    Your call Cllr Anketell

  5. In my view, all changes to party allegiance must be mandated by the electorate. People voted Cllr Anketell in as an independent back in May 2019 – they did not vote for a Labour candidate. If democratic principles are to be respected, a by-election in Stowe must be now called.

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