SENIOR members of a local Labour branch have left the party due to concerns over Keir Starmer’s leadership.

The Mail understands two members of Millom Labour Party’s committee as well as others in the branch have resigned their membership.

The branch's treasurer and membership secretary have cited concerns about the direction of the party under its new leader.

Another figure from the party, acting treasurer Cllr Bob Kelly, said he thought more members had joined the branch since the former shadow Brexit secretary replaced former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In an email sent to members and seen by The Mail, membership secretary Gaynor Tilby explained why she and treasurer Ralph Tilby were leaving.

“I will be leaving the Labour Party at the end of June and Ralph will be leaving at the end of the month," she said.

“Some of you may know I am a socialist at heart and the current leadership does not give me (or Ralph) confidence of the direction of the party.”

Cllr Kelly said: “It is frustrating for anyone to leave the party. I have been (in the party) since the 80s under various leaders. We all want to work towards a more equal and tolerant country. The Labour party is a broad church and I am reluctant to lose anybody.”

Mr Kelly said Keir Starmer has so far done a ‘good job’ as leader and new members had joined since his election

One member of the branch who recently left after concerns about the party’s new leader said: “I don’t believe in the party’s ethos any more. They have become too like the Conservatives and are no longer representing my values.”

Copeland Labour Party nominated Rebecca Long Bailey for leader. She was Mr Starmer's closest rival in the leadership vote last month.