Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes has confirmed departure after being deselected by The Labour Party

Nick Forbes' departure from the Labour Party of Newcastle and his comments are discussed.

Ross Bennett
18th February 2022
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
The head of Newcastle City Council – Nick Forbes – has confirmed his departure from the role after his deselection by the Labour Party. At a Labour branch meeting at Arthur’s Hill, it was decided Forbes would not be standing for re-election in the upcoming May local elections. Mr Forbes, who had been on the council since 2011, has given several statements about the ordeal.

Amid an ongoing party rift, Mr Forbes' deselection comes as a crushing blow to his political career. The former councillor, who has been the Labour leader in Newcastle since 2007, will be replaced by Abdul Samad – a labour campaigner and activist in the West End of the city. Mr Forbes, who was Newcastle’s first openly gay council leader, gave the following farewell statements: “Exiting Newcastle politics like this brings me mixed emotions and a heavy heart. I am disappointed that I will no longer be a voice for Newcastle at regional and national levels or be able to represent the city directly to government, but I am immensely proud of having been the first LGBT leader of this council - and its second longest serving leader. Above all, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have served my city, the wider local government family and the Labour Party. This I have done to the best of my abilities"

Mr Forbes' deselection comes as a crushing blow to his political career

Whilst Mr Forbes has already congratulated Mr Samad, he has stated that this was a political attack from his fellow party members on the left.
“I was ambushed on the night at the meeting - I didn't know I was going to have a contested selection," he remarked. "Ultimately I was a target because I'm seen as quite close to Keir Starmer" he added.

Forbes finished his comments on the matter with the following: “I think it's better to accept the damage to my political reputation and not damage the reputation of the city by prolonging my time in office unnecessarily" .

Whilst those in the Labour party denied his allegations it is indicative of the growing tensions in the party, now with a senior Labour councillor leaving his post, the party has one again been thrown into disarray. Another mess in the long line of the Starmer-era. Mr Forbes will carry on with his post until the end of his term, after that? Political retirement.

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