Labour councillor’s suspension in wake of Rotherham scandal lifted

Coun Gwendoline Russell.
Coun Gwendoline Russell.

One of the four Rotherham councillors suspended by Labour in the wake of the child sexual exploitation scandal has been reinstated into the party.

Councillor Gwendoline Ann Russell, who has been a member of Rotherham Council since 1998, has had her suspension lifted this afternoon.

The Yorkshire and Humber Labour Party today said former Rotherham Council leader Roger Stone, who was also suspended at the same time last year, has now left the party.

The party also suspended ex-deputy leader Jahangir Akhtar, who is no longer a councillor, and former mayor Shaukat Ali shortly after the Jay report was published last August and their suspensions remain in place.

A Yorkshire and Humber Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party has lifted the suspension of Rotherham Councillor Ann Russell.

“Suspensions of other Labour Party members remain in place pending the outcomes of investigations into CSE in Rotherham.

“Roger Stone is no longer a member of the Labour Party.

“The Labour Party has taken firm action to bring about change in Rotherham’s Labour Group since the Alexis Jay Report, with a rigorous selection process and a change of leadership.

“Coun Chris Read has demonstrated a determination to change the culture in the council and work with the Government-appointed Commissioners.

“There are a number of agencies conducting investigations into CSE in Rotherham, and the Labour Party will take firm action if those investigations implicate any party members.”

Mr Stone’s membership of the Labour party has now lapsed and any application would be subject to approval from the party’s National Executive Committee.