Wirral Labour councillor defects to Greens

A Wirral Labour councillor Gail Jenkinson has defected to the Green Party in a surprise move.

Cllr Gail Jenkinson was elected as one of Labour’s first councillors in the ward of Greasby, Frankby and Irby with nearly 50% of the vote in the most recent local elections in May 2023.

She was previously the chair of the Wirral West Labour Party before she resigned in September after a row over the party’s candidate shortlist for the Parliamentary seat.

But in a shock move today, Cllr Jenkinson confirmed she has joined the Green Party.

She said, “It is important that I keep the promises I made when I was elected last May. I feel that I can now only do this as a member of the Green Party. I love the place where I grew up and still live and I speak to residents every day. I cannot do this honestly as Labour changes its policies, particularly now it is saying it will relax controls on building on the greenbelt.

“We have fought long and hard to protect our vital open spaces but our brownfield-first Local Plan is still under inspection. We have beaten Leverhulme and other developers for the time being, but we cannot be complacent.

“The last thing we need is more loopholes for big developers to exploit, potentially at great expense to the Council, depriving the public of even more funding.

“We must protect the future of our children and all future generations. I strongly believe that being a member of the Green Party is the best way for me to contribute to that future and be a more effective councillor.”

Wirral’s Green Party co-leaders Cllr Pat Cleary and Jo Bird said they were delighted at the move and pointed to Cllr Jenkinson’s campaigning on green belt issues in Greasby.

Cllr Jo Bird said, “Gail is a formidable campaigner. She champions the issues of social and environmental justice that matter most to people who live in Greasby, Frankby and Irby. More and more people on the Wirral are turning to the Greens because – like Gail – we put people and environment first, not party bosses.”

The recent change will mean that Wirral’s Green Party now hold 14 councillors within Wirral, up from one in 2019. This will put them only three seats behind the Conservatives who are the second biggest party on the council.

It will also mean Wirral’s biggest party, Labour, now only has 29 councillors on the council.

Image: Cllr Gail Jenkinson (c) with Cllrs Jo Bird and Pat Cleary. Credit: Wirral Green Party

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