A Wishaw councillor who claims she was subjected to bullying has taken a dig at the Labour Party, comparing it to remaining in an “abusive relationship”.
North Lanarkshire Labour Group has dismissed Councillor Angela Feeney’s bullying allegations, saying they have been “investigated and found to be without basis”.
The Wishaw ward representative – now an independent councillor – has hit back saying: “I’m surprised to hear that. North Lanarkshire Labour haven’t contacted me, or interviewed me, so I’d like to know who investigated and be informed what the outcome was.
“I was told I was removed from my office and desk to be safeguarded. Safeguarding to me means protecting, so who am I being protected from?”
Councillor Feeney claims people within the local Labour group had made her life a “living hell”. She also criticised its decision to oppose a second referendum on Scottish independence, which she says is “undemocratic”.
The online comments were in response to someone else’s criticism of Labour Party leader Keir Starmer’s decision to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey from his shadow cabinet.
On her decision to leave the party, she said: “People are saying to me, ‘If I leave, where will I go?’ It sounds like they are in an abusive relationship.
“You don’t need to go anywhere, you can still be political without being tied to that s**t-show.”
Speaking to the Wishaw Press this week, she put some context to her social media comments.
“Maybe my comments were a bit over the top,” she admitted. “People are coming to me that support independence and they don’t like the way the Labour Party is going.
"They’re saying ‘I want to leave but I don’t know where to go’. Well, you don’t need to go anywhere or jump ship to the SNP. Just be who you are.”
An NHS worker, Councillor Feeney is a life-long socialist and a trade unionist. She was a firm supporter of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Prior to the General Election on December 12, the then Labour Party leader said if he became Prime Minister he wouldn’t block IndyRef2. In contrast Starmer has taken a hardline stance backing Scottish Labour’s unconditional rejection of a second referendum.
Councillor Feeney added: “You’d think the latest polls would be a wake-up but it doesn’t seem to be.”
The councillor twice stood as a Labour candidate in UK General Elections, and as recently as last December.
She quit the party in March after refusing to vote for North LanarkshireCouncil’s budget, which included £31 million of cuts.
At the time she said “the people of North Lanarkshire deserve better”.
A North Lanarkshire Labour Group spokesperson said: “These claims are not new, have been investigated and found to be without basis.
“It is disappointing that after being defeated in the General Election that Angela has chosen to resign from the party and spread malicious and unsubstantiated accusations against her former colleagues.
“Nevertheless, we wish Angela well as an independent member.”