An independent councillor who quit Labour in protest at anti-semitism has announced that he will be standing for re-election.
Peter Atkinson currently sits as an independent councillor for North Portslade on Brighton and Hove City Council.
He left the Labour Party in August 2021 in protest at the party’s decision to reinstate another councillor, Anne Pissaridou, who had previously been suspended over allegations of anti-semitism.
Councillor Pissaridou was subsequently expelled for belonging to an organisation banned by Labour. She also now sits as an independent in the same ward and has not yet announced if she will also stand again or not.
He said that the decision to stand again as an independent was influenced by a “newfound freedom” to represent his constituents without party loyalty.
Councillor Atkinson said: “I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled at the number of residents who have contacted me asking me to stand again – even on the bus.
“It’s a challenging role, particularly as I still work almost full time, but in some ways I think still working keeps me grounded.
“I’m taking absolutely nothing for granted.
“This election will be difficult and demanding as I’m on my own but I will knuckle down, work hard and hope that people recognise my ongoing commitment to the residents of North Portslade and Mile Oak.
“I was asked if I would re-join Labour but to me that would have been hypocritical.
“I left on a point of principle and to re-join would suggest I was only doing so to access resources of a party machine.
“That didn’t seem right to me. I also discovered a new-found freedom as an independent councillor to fully represent the North Portslade and Mile Oak community.”
Councillor Atkinson first stood in North Portslade in 2015 and won by only 98 votes.
In 2019, he stood again and increased his majority to almost 900 votes.
Really good news for all of us in North Portslade, Peter has been an absolute credit. So glad he is standing again.
never met peter but I have friends who live in his ward and say he is brilliant. I wonder if the Queen of Weeds – Cllr Pissaridou will be standing after her disasterous implementation of the OSR cycle lane and ill though out pesticide ban I’m not so sure she is so popular in North Portslade.
Labour will have a tough fight on their hands to get that seat back from Peter after the otherwise years of neglect Labour have shown in Mile Oak
Never met the man, but sounds like a gentleman of principle. I respect that.
He does – a bit rare at the moment, but good for him. If I lived in that ward I would probably vote for him. As you said on another thread, a lot of it is about the individual candidate and, if you have a good one who has a record of doing his or her stuff for the ward and the residents are appreciative, then the politics thing doesn’t matter.