A SOLICITOR and councillor for Barrow Borough has made the bold decision to resign as a member of the Labour party in protest against Jeremy Corbyn's re-election.

Councillor Sean Harkin will continue to serve his constituents in Dalton North but will stand as an independent councillor after becoming disillusioned with the party he has been a member of since he was 15.

The 29-year-old, who was elected in 2015, said: "I can't continue as a Labour party member. They have been taken over by the hard left and I don't think there is anything that I or any other moderate can do to get our party back.

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"John Woodcock has said people should fight to change the party from within but I don't think that's possible. The party has turned from a political party interested in wanting power to a protest movement.

"I would urge those who have the same misgivings about Corbyn, including our MP John Woodcock, to resign from the party and help form a new parliamentary party. This is the only way we can now avoid the ultimate disaster which is the Tories being reelected in 2020."

Mr Harkin disagrees with the Labour leader's stance on Trident and the 67-year-old's assumption that the the public sector can do everything better than the private sector.

However, despite his resignation as a Labour party member, the 29-year-old insisted that his constituents won't be affected by his decision.

He added: "I will still be there for my constituency. My values have not changed since i was elected last year. It's a shame to leave the other Labour councillors as we have great camaraderie as a group and it might feel a bit of a lonely place walking into the council chamber with no affiliation but hopefully my fellow councillors will understand my decision."

In response to Mr Harkin's suggestion, John Woodcock played down the idea of forming a new party and said that Labour must unite to challenge the opposition.

He said: "I am very sorry to hear that Sean feels he can't continue in the Labour Party.

"I understand why many decent Labour members feel worn down by the abuse and antagonism of recent months but we need to try to come together and not give up on the prospect of a Labour government that can command wider public support. I will not stop fighting for what is best for local people as a Labour MP."

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Labour leader of the council, councillor Dave Pidduck, admitted that he was "disappointed" with Mr Harkin's resignation.

He said: "Obviously Sean has his reasons for resigning but I am disappointed. I would have preferred it if he had come to speak with me and other councillors before leaving the party."

Mr Pidduck voted for Owen Smith in the Labour leadership election but conceded that democracy had spoken.

He added: "Even though I disagree with a lot of stuff that Jeremy Corbyn says this is part of the democratic process that we live by. The people of Barrow still come first and we support the shipyard and its employees regardless of Corbyn's policies.