Belfast Telegraph

NI Labour Party denies 'infiltration' allegations as six top members quit

By David Young, PA

The troubled executive committee of the Northern Ireland Labour Party has denied allegations of political infiltration, levelled by six resigning members.

The chairman, vice chairman and four other committee members quit on Monday night, claiming a "vocal and troublesome element" within the local party was secretly involved with other parties.

The walk-out comes ahead of a planned review by the National Executive Committee of the UK Labour Party on whether it will lift its long standing ban on members running for election in Northern Ireland.Yesterday, its executive committee rejected the claims made by the six departing officer holders.

The resignations happened prior to the start of a committee meeting on Monday night.

The six vacancies were then filled. Boyd Black was elected as chair of LPNI and Chamindra Weerawardhana as secretary.

The new-look committee denied the claims of political infiltration and claimed the departed six were set to be challenged by grassroots members on a number of issues before they quit.

The committee issued a statement saying it was "united on policy".

"The executive committee of the Labour Party NI rejects allegations made by former members of the committee, following their resignations tendered on 7 August, 2017," it read.

It added: "Following a harmonious and productive EC meeting last night, LPNI EC is fully committed to re-invigorating the development of a grassroots-driven Labour Party in Northern Ireland."

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