Morecambe’s youngest town councillor says he has learned his lesson after being suspended from the Labour party for calling leadership challenger Owen Smith a ‘backstabber’.
Joshua Brandwood has now been reinstated but was given a formal warning by the party after comments he made on Twitter about Morecambe-born Mr Smith in the run-up to the Labour leadership election.
Coun Brandwood, who voluntarily revealed to our newspaper that he had been suspended, said he “completely retracted” what he said.
The 22-year-old, who was elected to Morecambe Town Council in 2015, was outspoken in his support of Jeremy Corbyn on social media prior to Mr Corbyn’s victory over Mr Smith in September’s leadership election.
A letter from the Labour party head office to Coun Brandwood advised him his suspension had been lifted and he was free to resume active membership.
But it also said: “To call other Labour party members ‘backstabbers’ in the way it is alleged you have done is something that has caused offence.
“It is not an acceptable or constructive way of engaging in political discourse and falls well short of the standard expected of all members.
“Abuse of any kind...is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in our party.”
Coun Brandwood said: “I fully understand why I was punished, particularly during the tumultuous time for everybody in the party of late.
“That being said, that’s all in the past, and I’m looking forward to the future. My party has shown faith and trust in me and I hope to repay that in kind.
“Now is a time for Labour to be united and I am happy to stand with my fellow party members once more under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
“I will continue to act as a voice for my constituents and will represent them in the council chambers.
“I endeavour to have learned from this difficult situation and emerge from it as a better, more diplomatic politician.”