Bexhill and Battle Labour membership tripled since general election

No formal motion on whether or not to support Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was made by the branch
No formal motion on whether or not to support Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was made by the branch

The Bexhill and Battle Labour Party has seen a massive boost in support with membership numbers trebling since the general election last year.

There are now more than 700 full members of the party, a rise from just 220 before the election in May, 2015.

At the party’s annual meeting in Battle, members were critical of Labour MPs for forcing a leadership contest but no formal motion for or against Jeremy Corbyn was passed.

Roger McCarthy, 56, a semi-retired former market analyst and consultant, was elected secretary and said dozens more are in the process of joining.

“With so many new members the local party has never been so strong and we look forward to campaigning for Labour in our local communities,” Mr McCarthy said.

The Labour Party now has so many members that it has three separate branches, one in Bexhill, another in Battle and a third covering Heathfield and Herstmonceux.

Conor Hill, 22, was elected as the new chairman and took the opportunity to criticise former Labour Rother District Councillor Maurice Watson for switching to the ruling Conservative Party.

“The year so far has seen some serious disappointments, particularly the result of European Referendum in which the party campaigned hard for a Remain vote,” he said.

“We also witnessed the disgraceful desertion to the Tories on Rother Council of Councillor Maurice Watson, for whose election last May many of us worked very hard.

“But, we are now as a party far more strongly placed with 1% of this constituency’s total electorate now having joined the Labour Party and committed themselves to fighting the Tories both nationally and locally.

“We look forward to campaigning in next May’s county council elections and to working for the election of a Labour government at the next general election – whenever it may be.”

While the meeting did not pass a formal vote of confidence for or against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, motions which were critical of the Parliamentary Labour Party for forcing a new leadership election on the party at this point were passed.

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