Don’t miss out!
Get all the most important news and events to your inbox.
An independent councillor who switched to Labour has denied he has misled voters by joining the party.
Cllr Jeyan Anketell switched his allegiances in the wake of the General Election.
But his decision led to criticism from Conservative rival Cllr Wai-Lee Ho who suggested the move may be seen as a “betrayal” by voters in the Stowe ward.
But Cllr Anketell said his views on the local political situation had not changed.
“I made it very clear in my election leaflet, and in my doorstep conversations with residents, that I was standing as an independent progressive candidate.
“I explicitly stated that I have unsuccessfully tried to get our local progressive parties to work together to get more progressive councillors elected.
“Conservative control of our local councils has been a complete shambles and has wasted money in Lichfield, as it has done nationally.
“They have been fully complicit in the national government’s austerity programme and failed economic policy.
“I asked voters not to support more Conservative cuts and to give me their vote, while sharing remaining ones among progressive candidates in Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party.
“So Lichfield residents were fully informed in advance of my stand with regard to supporting Labour and the other progressive parties.
“I am seeking to join the Labour group on both the Lichfield city and district councils as I believe I can more effectively work for the betterment of Lichfeldians in this way.”Cllr Jeyan Anketell
The move to Labour is not the first time Cllr Anketell has moved political allegiances. He had previously stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate.
But he said his decisions had always been based on aligning his own views to those of political groups.
“Appalled by the Lib Dem leadership”
“I joined Labour because, along with the Greens, the Corbynite Labour principles seemed most closely aligned to the Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Humanist and other religions’ principles of social justice, truth and integrity.
“My first political commitment was made to the SDP – as a founding member – in the mid-1980s, before going on to the SLD on merging with the Liberals, and remaining in the party following the name change to Liberal Democrats.
“It is not just the young who have been energised by Jeremy Corbyn. I am an oldie in his late 70s, and I was appalled by the Lib Dem leadership cynically joining the anti-Corbyn bandwagon and so helping the Tories to win.”Cllr Jeyan Anketell