Bridgwater councillor resigned from Labour

(updated with comments from Bridgwater Labour)

This morning Cllr Richard Morgan resigned from the Labour Party.

As we reported last month, Councillor Morgan took part in the Just Stop Oil actions at Kingsbury Oil Terminal on 14 September 2022. He was subsequently convicted for breaching a High Court injunction. Cllr Morgan, who is a renewable energy engineer, was sentenced to 23 days’ imprisonment, suspended for a two-year period.

Initially no further action was taken against him following the court case. He worked as a Labour councillor on Bridgwater Town council with full support of Bridgwater Labour.

Last month he was suddenly suspended from the party pending investigation. Last week after his suspension, at Stratford Magistrates court Cllr Morgan was ordered to pay £336 costs for his October protest and given a conditional discharge of six months. 

He continued to serve as an independent councillor. He is entitled to do this as he hasn’t breached any of the criteria listed in the Councillor’s Code of Conduct that would prevent him acting as a councillor.

On resigning from the Labour Party Cllr Morgan said: I’m sad to leave the Labour Party but the current leadership is clearly seeking to expunge those on the left, and it’s not a good place for any socialist at the moment. The treatment of my Constituency Labour Party has been appalling and I don’t trust Keir Starmer to honour his pledge of no new oil, gas, and coal.”

“I have no intention of stopping my actions with Just Stop Oil, so – unless Labour U-turn on their support for peaceful protests – it’s likely I would have been on permanent suspension from the party.”

Bridgwater Labour, commenting on the resignation noted: “Bridgwater Town Council Labour Group were disappointed to hear through the Press of Cllr Richard Morgan’s decision to leave the Labour Party just a year after being elected with the rest of us on a Labour platform. It is particularly disappointing as the Bridgwater Town Labour Group and Bridgwater Branch had sought to support him through the process of his original arrest and subsequent suspension by the National Party following the receipt of a formal complaint. Whilst the Group absolutely supports the right of peaceful protest, actions can lead to consequences and in Labour Party procedures this involved a process of investigation into the complaint during which point we were not allowed to comment on the case. Cllr Morgan was NOT suspended for ‘peaceful protest’ nor for his membership of’ ‘Just Stop Oil’ but because of allegations of law breaking potentially incompatible with the councillor code of conduct. In terms of the legislation, he had not overstepped those conditions and we were prepared to defend him on this basis. In terms of Labour Party rules, it is up to the National Executive Committee, after a hearing, to determine if the nature of the offence brought the party into disrepute, and they can decide themselves if this constitutes a ‘serious’ offence.  Because of Cllr Morgan’s resignation, that investigation and hearing will now obviously not take place.”


  • There are more and more good people outside of Labour finding new political feet these days. I have known Richard for several years and always found him thoughtful, compassionate and committed – particularly to climate justice. He is one of the good guys. When the history of this time is written the central question will be “Why didn’t they do anything”. Well Richard did.

  • Good on you Richard, Just Stop Oil are doing the right thing, and hopefully we can keep Labour to their no new oil and gas pledge, in spite of purgewatch in the Labour Party and right wing culture warriors trying to make the collapse of the climate into a culture wars topic.

Leave a Reply