Labour ‘Purge’ Costs Party Majority On Bristol City Council

Labour has lost its majority on Bristol council after it suspended three of its pro-Jeremy Corbyn councillors.

Harriet Bradley, Mike Langley and Hibaq Jama have all had the Labour whip withdrawn and been banned from voting on in the leadership contest.

Corbyn’s campaign has criticised party HQ for conducting a “purge” of his supporters. 

In May, Labour won 37 of the 70 seats on the city’s council. But the suspensions by the means is technically one councillor short of the number needed to form a majority.

The reasons for Langley and Jama’s suspensions have not been made clear. Bradley was reportedly suspended earlier this month for attacking Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee.

Corbyn is expected to be reelected Labour leader on Saturday with a comfortable victory over Owen Smith. And he has said he is keen to offer an olive branch to his MPs after the result.

“As a practical start for this I’m growing an olive tree on the balcony of my office and it’s doing very, very well. It’s thriving,” he said last week.

However The Huffington Post understands the olive tree Corbyn is cultivating on his Commons office balcony was given to him as a gift by Bradley – who has also called for Labour MPs Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey to be deselected and for Labour’s general secretary Iain McNicol to be sacked.