A COUNCILLOR has been kicked out of Labour after he was seen campaigning for a rival party ahead of next month’s Local Elections.

Wirral Cllr Paul Doughty was pictured out canvassing for the Independent group of councillors in March, and the Labour Party confirmed on Wednesday he has now been “auto-excluded”.

It comes after a picture was posted on social media of him alongside politicians such as Independent candidate for Rock Ferry, Cllr Chris Meaden, group leader Cllr Moira McLaughlin, and Birkenhead MP Frank Field.

The image shows them holding black placards promoting Cllr Meaden’s election campaign, reading: “On May 2. Vote Rock Ferry. Vote Independent. Vote Chris Meaden.”

Cllr Doughty has represented the Oxton ward since 2011, but is not standing for re-election next month, meaning he will cease to be a councillor from May 2 anyway.It’s understood the regional Labour Party is aware of Cllr Doughty campaigning with independent candidates, and has been “auto-excluded”.

Under Labour Party rules, a member can be ‘auto-excluded’ if they are a member of another party, or show support for another party or candidate.

Cllr Doughty withdrew from his position as vice chair of the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party back in October, when Cllr Meaden and two current Wirral cabinet members were ousted from their roles.

Cllrs McLaughlin and Meaden have both hit out at bullying in Labour in recent times, with the former quitting the party in October – and the latter quitting in February having been deselected last year. Mr Field also quit last year, and now sits as an Independent.

Also in the picture are former Wirral Labour councillors Harry Smith, John Salter and ex-Liberal Democrat, Alan Jennings.

Cllr McLaughlin, who posted the picture on Twitter in March, said she was unable to comment further as it’s an “internal Labour Party matter”.

The Labour Party was contacted for further information, but said it too was unable to comment on individual cases because complaints procedures are confidential.

Cllr Doughty was contacted for comment by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Cllr Meaden is running as an Independent Group candidate for the Rock Ferry ward at the Local Elections on May 2.

Also nominated in the ward are Andrew Johnathan for the Conservative Party, Moira Gommon for the Green Party and Labour’s Yvonne Nolan.