‘Atrocious’: Four councillors suspended by Hackney Labour for voting to hear motions on Gaza ceasefire and Dewey investigation

L-R: Cllrs Penny Wrout, Claudia Turbet-Delof, Clare Joseph, and Fliss Premru. Photographs: Hackney Labour

Four Hackney councillors have been suspended by the local Labour party after voting in favour of hearing a motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

All three Labour councillors for Victoria ward – Clare Joseph, Claudia Turbet-Delof and Penny Wrout – have had the whip removed, as well as Fliss Premru, who represents Clissold.

The suspensions kicked in on 20 February and are expected to last for two months.

In a joint statement to residents, Cllrs Joseph, Turbet-Delof and Wrout explained that their suspensions “do not stop us from working as your local councillors, and we will continue to represent your voices”.

“We remain the hard-working, committed and conscientious councillors you have known us to be,” they added.

The councillors were punished for voting to hear a motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, and to hear a motion supporting an internal investigation into how Labour handled the case of former councillor Tom Dewey.

Dewey spent 11 days as a Labour councillor in May 2022 before resigning. He was later handed a 12-month suspended sentence after being convicted of possessing indecent images of children.

One local resident said on Twitter: “Suspending councillors for voting to hear a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire and calling for an independent investigation on how a paedophile was allowed to stand for election is atrocious.

“Hackney Labour are irredeemable. We need local change.”

The votes that led to the four councillors being suspended took place at full council last November.

A Hackney Labour spokesperson told the Citizen that “for the purposes of the council, [the suspended councillors] will continue to be treated as members of the Labour group of councillors”, and that they “continue to be members of the Labour party”.