Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, has condemned a decision made by North West Durham Labour to expel Hilary Armstrong, their former MP, from the party.
Posting on Twitter, Watson said:
“This misdirected mob justice degrades our great party. These attempts to silence dissent will fail. This is not the party I know.”
Pat Glass, the previous Labour MP for the constituency, posted:
“I cannot believe that @NWDurhamLabour have passed a motion to expel former MP @HilaryArmstrong but it seems it is true. She has broken no rules unless free speech is now banned in the @UKLabour”.
Laura Pidcock, the current Labour MP for North West Durham, was reported to have been at the meeting but chose not to speak and has made no comment on the expulsion.
Charlie Falconer, the Labour Peer, posted on Twitter:
“Dianne Hayter and Hilary Armstrong have given their working lives to Labour and made real Labour change. The idea Dianne should be forced off front bench or Hilary out of the party is completely wrong. If Labour isn’t wide enough for both of them it’s not Labour anymore.”
Anna Turley, the Labour MP for Redcar, posted:
“If this is true [the expulsion] it is disgraceful. Hilary has served the Labour Party with commitment & distinction for decades, as a former social worker, particularly for the vulnerable. She is Labour to her marrow and if there is no place for her in it, it is done”.