MERSEYSIDE'S deputy police and crime commissioner has resigned with immediate effect.

News of Cllr Emily Spurrell's departure from the role was announced this afternoon by police commissioner Jane Kennedy.

It came after Ms Kennedy revealed that she had left the Labour Party.

Cllr Spurrell said: "This morning Jane Kennedy informed me that she had made the decision to leave the Labour Party.

"I am extremely saddened and disappointed with this decision and believe it is the wrong thing to do for the people of Merseyside who voted for a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner to put Labour values at the heart of policing.

"I have therefore submitted my resignation as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside.

"When I became DPCC it was on the understanding that I was working with a Labour PCC, but this is no longer the case.

"This has not been an easy decision to make as it has been an honour to serve as a Labour DPCC for the last 18 months, holding the police to account and engaging communities across Merseyside.

"I am also proud of the work I have led on including improving support for victims of crime, tackling hate crime and violence against women, and campaigning for fairer funding for Merseyside Police.

"Merseyside have lost over 30% of their funding since 2010 and continue to suffer under this Conservative Government’s pernicious programme of austerity.

"This is why I firmly believe we need a strong Labour voice as Police and Crime Commissioner.

"I remain committed to putting victims of crime at the heart of everything I do, building trust in the police and criminal justice organisations and, most importantly, to having an accountable and visible Police and Crime Commissioner.

"I will continue to campaign and to volunteer my time to ensure that these values are at the heart of our criminal justice system."

Reflecting on Cllr Spurrell's decision to step down from the role, Ms Kennedy said: "I am disappointed to report that Emily Spurrell has chosen to resign from her post as my deputy.

"She has done so because I confirmed to her that I left the Labour Party after the resignation of Luciana Berger MP and the announcement that Derek Hatton had been re-admitted into party membership.

"Emily has been an excellent deputy and has carried forward a number of important projects, in particular leading work on improving the outcomes for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence and in developing a regional policy on tackling violence against women and girls.

"I was elected to promote action against hate crime, amongst other things, and am no longer able to defend what the Labour Party allows to happen in its name.

"I will continue to carry out my duties until I retire from office in May 2020."