Stacy Harris, who was a Labour councillor for Ibstock and Heather Ward on North West Leicestershire District Council, has resigned from the council and the Labour Party. She has complained in the strongest terms at the treatment she had from the Labour Group due to being a young councillor. She is particularly outspoken about Cllr Leon Spence, the leader of the Labour Group.
In an email to the Conservative council leader, Cllr Richard Blunt she writes:
"I have zero respect and loyalty for this Labour group, from day one they have treated me unfairly and differently. I have, recently been unable to attend some meetings due to working in the evenings. As a second year student at Loughborough University I am in no position financially to turn down any work and although I explained this to Leon Spence it was deemed that I was 'failing to communicate with the party'. Following this, Councillor Janet Ruff took it upon herself to investigate my past and private life, I informed Leon Spence of this but inevitably he got back to me stating I should resign as I 'could not commit to the role of councillor'. He then went on to contact Labour's regional office who wanted to organise a mediation session to which I refused due to being both busy with work and university work. Councillor Ruff then contacted me and proceeded to accuse me of several things, including being a liar and told me she had been 'trying to get to the truth' about me. I am sure you can understand how alarming it was for me to be directly told that someone had been looking into my personal life.
I told Leon Spence that Councillor Ruff should be reprimanded for the way she had behaved but instead he continued to ostracise me from the group and group campaigns. For instance, I had to hear of the recent car park campaign that happened in my ward via-Twitter. I am sure you're aware what these people are like but the way in which they have treated me is disgraceful. Not only do I hold no respect for this group I also hold no affinity to Labour as a party in general at all anymore. The group spouts that it wants younger, intelligent councillors and as soon as they get one they treat you like you're an idiot who is wet behind the ears. I have more experience than half of them put together.
I also wanted to email you as there will be a by-election and I know for a fact Spence will be seeking a candidate already. I hope you manage to put forward a candidate, I am by no means a Conservative but it would give me great pleasure to see this group brought down a peg or two. I'm sure I'm preaching to the converted but this district needs to know what a group of pompous, idiotic, self serving group of people they have elected. Following my resignation I have also withdrawn my party membership and wish to continue my life totally free of the world of politics. I would also like to say of Leon Spence, he is a manipulative 'Yes' man who has no charisma, no back bone and absolutely no conscience. He may know a lot of long words but he is a bumbling fool.
I am aware this email may be considered within the public domain but I am by no means particularly concerned if my words are repeated as I stand by everything I have said. I am very disappointed I could not serve this Council any longer, and I hope you understand my reasons why."
"Councillor Harris’s resignation letter makes disappointing reading to anyone interested in encouraging young people to get involved in the political process. I am sure the Labour Party will be carrying out its own investigation into the conduct of the Labour Group Leader and the Councillors involved. It is a sad indictment of the Labour group in North West Leicestershire that someone with the energy and drive to stand and win an election should become so disillusioned with their own Party and colleagues after only eight months. The Council tax payers of North West Leicestershire are now faced with the cost of a by election caused by the splits and discord within the Labour group."