POLITICS
28/09/2018 11:01 BST | Updated 28/09/2018 13:56 BST

Derek Hatton: Hard-Left Politician 'Rejoins Labour Party' 33 Years After Infamous Expulsion

The 70-year-old said Jeremy Corbyn inspired him to apply for membership.

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Derek Hatton was expelled from the Labour Party in 1986 

The hard-left former deputy leader of Liverpool city council has claimed to have rejoined the Labour Party almost 33 years after he was infamously expelled by then-leader Neil Kinnock.

Derek Hatton caused huge outrage in the 1980s for setting an illegal budget for the council in protest of local spending cuts by the Conservative government.

He later went on to send out thousands of redundancy notices to council workers in the city via taxi.

While Hatton still insists that the move was a tactic by the council to buy more time and stay within its budget, claiming none of the workers were supposed to take the redundancy notices seriously, the move was branded “grotesque chaos” by the Labour leadership at the time.

Hatton was eventually expelled from the party in 1986 for belonging to the Trotskyite group known as the Militant Tendency.

But on Friday, the 70-year-old claimed he had been allowed to rejoin the party, telling the Liverpool Echo it was Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership which had inspired him to re-apply.

Explaining that he had attended Labour’s annual conference in the city this week, he told the paper: “Many people, myself included, probably never thought we would witness an unswerving socialist like Jeremy Corbyn at the helm.

“He stands there with a set of policies clearly aimed at benefiting the vast majority of people in this country and a strategy which will not be dictated to, or influenced by, the five billionaires who own 90% of the country’s media.”

Praising the leader’s “fresh enthusiasm and energy”, he added: “Now I’m a ‘Labour Party member’ I believe nothing should take our eye off the ball of securing a Labour government under Corbyn.”

However, Hatton insisted he was not interested in running for public office.

He told the newspaper while he had unsuccessfully attempted to rejoin the party several years ago while Iain McNicol was general secretary, his most recent application was accepted without any objections.

The Labour Party has yet to officially confirm Hatton’s membership, with a spokesperson saying: “We don’t comment on individual memberships.” 

Hatton’s announcement comes days after Dawn Butler caused controversy at the Labour’s women’s conference in Liverpool by appearing to praise the party’s former Militant wing by quoting the faction’s slogan “better to break the law than break the poor”.