0500wIanCruiseA Longbridge councillor has announced that he has left the Labour Party and will serve the rest of his term on Birmingham City Council as an independent councillor. 

Ian Cruise was first elected to represent Longbridge ward for Labour on Birmingham City Council in 2010. He retained his seat in 2014, beating Conservative candidate Derek Johnson by just 71 votes.

Cllr Cruise had already said on Twitter that he planned to stand down in 2018 when his current term ends.

In a statement issued to B31 Voices, Cllr Cruise explains his decision to leave the Labour Party, saying: “Longbridge Ward residents if they haven’t already, will become aware of my decision to leave the Labour Party and the Birmingham Labour Group on the City Council to become an Independent Councillor. The decision was taken after much thought and many conversations with those close to me, and was made in light of my chronic depression. Being a part of the Labour Party and Birmingham Labour Group was taking a toll on my health and wellbeing.”

In the statement, Cllr Cruise goes on to reassure Longbridge residents that he will continue to serve them until 2018. He said: “My decision does not affect any of the duties I perform as a Councillor. I will still hold advice desks, attend meetings, take on casework for residents and be the voice of residents on Birmingham City Council, continue to challenge Council leaders when policies affect residents of Longbridge Ward.”

On Cllr Cruise’s decision, deputy leader of the Birmingham Labour Group, Cllr Ian Ward said: “I understand that Ian has felt under pressure for some time and he must put his health and well-being first. I hope that after some time out and a much needed break he will reconsider his position.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. if longbridge voted for labour and Cllr Cruise resigns the whip… shouldn t there be an election??? after all he is not now what they voted for.
    Democracy???

    • No, this isn’t how the electoral system works. You don’t vote for a party, you vote for an individual to represent you. That individual may align themselves to whatever party they wish. They can chop and change parties however they choose. Winston Churchill changed parties while in Parliament several times.

      The democratic process works like this – if you don’t support Cllr Cruise’s decision you can either a) go and tell him – he’s your representative after all and/or b) you can vote for somebody else when he’s up for re-election.

  2. I think that he should resign. I voted for him based on the fact that he would vote for the policies put forward by the Labour group. Of course, like almost every voter, I know nothing at all about the man I helped elect, I just know a little bit about the political objectives of the Labour party.

    He should leave and stand for re-election.

  3. Criticise Ian Cruise if you will but he is perhaps one of the last true Labour supporters anyone will compare with, I know this from the inside and I,m a Tory.

    The more like him to leave Birmingham Labour Party the better for the Tories to win.
    Believe me Birmingham Labour is far from what you think.
    I sometimes wonder whether Sir Albert has to compromise his professional decisions to satisfy others within his group.

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