A NORTHUMBERLAND County Councillor expelled from the Labour Party has joined the Independent Group.

Holly Waddell was kicked out by Labour for allegedly having links to a Marxist group.

The councillor, who represents Bywell, took up the role in May 2021 but in February the year later, she was expelled after Socialist Appeal was banned.

READ MORE: https://www.hexham-courant.co.uk/news/19964318.northumberland-county-councillor-holly-waddell-dumped-labour-party-link-marxists/

She said at the time: “It is my belief that the party has mistakenly taken likes from my personal Facebook page as an endorsement of a group proscribed by the Labour Party, Socialist Appeal.

“I am not and have never been a member of the organisation, nor have I supported it in any sense.

"I have never bought their paper, attended any events or given them financial support."

Since her expulsion, Cllr Waddell has sat as an independent councillor but she has now joined the Independent Group.

She said: "This is a decision I made in order to best represent the people who elected me.

"I found working as an ungrouped member on the council difficult. Due to proportionality, committee places are allocated to members based on the percentage of the council their group make up.

"Outside of a political party or a group, I had no access to committee places and missed out on group briefings offered to the groups on the council.

"The Independent Group has been welcoming to me. They are supportive that I continue my appeal within the Labour Party.

"This was the best decision for the residents of Bywell ward at this time."