Dromgoole resigns from Labour

Sean Dromgoole has been the Labour candidate for Somerton & Frome for the last two General Elections. This lunchtime (28 June) announced his resignation from the Labour Party.

Mr Dromgoole revived the fortunes of Labour in the Somerton & Frome constituency in both the 2017 and 2019 General Elections, more than doubling the Labour vote. He has stood for the party in local elections too and is currently the Chair of Langport Town Council. A passionate advocate of left of centre politics he had hoped to represent Labour in the Somerton & Frome by-election.

His full resignation statement is as follows:

It is with great sadness that I announce that, after 12 years of membership, I have today resigned from the Labour Party.
I simply don’t understand how, and have received no explanation as to why, I wasn’t even shortlisted for a selection in the seat of Somerton and Frome in which I have worked so hard for so long. I was Campaign Director here in the 2015 and had the privilege of standing in the last two General Elections. I got 10,998 votes in 2017 (an increase of 6,579) and only fell back by 4% in the difficult 2019 campaign. I have since been Chair of the CLP as well as performing many other regional Party duties.
Despite this long record of loyal voluntary work and successful campaigning, the Party has completely failed to communicate at all with me since the decision to exclude me. I have no understanding of either the process or the rationale. If, for instance, the choice had been to select a female candidate, that would have made sense. As it is I may never know the basis of the decision, or on what knowledge, or errors, it was based. All I do know is that it was a poor one that no-one cares to explain.
The Labour Party I loved seems to have become paralysed by a one-way relationship with its leadership. It has wholly disengaged from local CLPs and the sentiments of those who do the work. Non-responsive apparatchiks scurry about guessing at what the leadership wants. As they do so, they encourage friends to turn traitor, loyalists to become loathers, and local hard work to be fluff to laugh at in Blackfriars Road. It has become a party so busy looking over its own shoulder, that it is scared of saying or doing anything. It cannot be considered fit for Government when its internal processes are such a shabby combination of hiding from responsibility and diktat.
I hope it changes. Lord knows we need a change from the current administration. Perhaps my resignation may prompt some improvement, but my treatment has been so woefully poor that there does come a point at which any rational soul has to say enough is enough. I have sadly reached that point.


  • Astonishing. I had assumed Sean was saving himself for the General Election.

  • A typically erudite statement from Sean. He has been a popular personality in local politics. I will miss the opportunity to engage with him in entertaining debate in the coming byelection

  • Christine de Pulford

    Well done Sean! I had thought that they might be saving you for a seat where there was a better chance of election – but they really do intend to pack the Party, or what little is left of it, with Blairite yes-men, don’t they? So angry because we really don’t have time to watch New New Labour continue a Thatcherite trajectory for the next four years – we need change NOW.
    Bright side is that you’ll never have to deal with the toxic change-destroying culture now prevalent in Labour ever again!

  • Really very sad and astonished to hear this and particularly the way you’ve been treated. A loss to Somerton and Frome, to Somerset (where you had begun to change Labour’s election results) and to the Labour Party.

  • Terence Stewart

    It the case that the same right wing regional organiser spends more time witch hunting the left such as yourself and Ken Loach from Bath than campaigning against austerity and the Tories. A tragedy in the making 👍

  • As a matter of principle Mr Guild who doesn’t live in our constituency won’t get our votes due to the utterly shoddy treatment of Mr Dromgoole. The only logical alternative in protest is for our votes to now go grudgingly to the Lib Dem in the naive hope it keeps the Tory out of Somerset & Frome

    • Christine de Pulford

      Anyone in need of a protest vote should consider Rosie Mitchell, from Frome, standing as an Independent Socialist candidate. It would be a protest vote backed by the promise of a representative with what used to be considered sound Labour principals who would work hard for the constituency if elected, and it sends a message to our political parties that letting their power games override and destroy any competent drive to build a fair and fully functioning society is unacceptable.

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