Labour suspends Somerset councillor
The Labour Party has suspended one of its town councillors in Bridgwater. This follows the announcement of a National Executive Committee enquiry into allegations of a ‘serious crime’. The ‘serious crime’ actually took place in September last year and has been widely reported locally.
Councillor Richard Morgan took part in the Just Stop Oil actions at Kingsbury Oil Terminal on 14 September 2022. He was subsequently convicted in court as the protest was in breach of a High Court injunction. Cllr Morgan was sentenced to 23 days’ imprisonment, suspended for a two-year period.
The Labour Party nationally have now removed the Whip from him following an allegation which they have to investigate. Therefore, until the conclusion of this enquiry he will sit as an independent on Bridgwater Town Council. Until the conclusion of the enquiry Cllr Morgan will also step down from his role as Transport Portfolio Holder.
He can however remain as a councillor. The minimum criteria for removal as a councillor is a ‘custodial or suspended sentence of 3 months.’ This is set out in the Councillor Code of Conduct. Cllr Morgan’s sentence does not meet this criteria so he is entitles to remain as an elected councillor.