THE feud between several Labour party members connected to a North-East council is showing no sign of abating.

A row erupted when leading member of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council failed to secure selection to fight in May’s elections under the Labour banner.

Last week, a leaked document showed the authority’s Labour group was ‘at war with itself’ and it has now been revealed the reason one councillor was overlooked for selection was due to claims he was failing to support the party’s Redcar candidate, Anna Turley, who is standing in the general election.

Council leader George Dunning has defied Labour North’s orders to not speak publically about the row and is standing by Eston councillor Steve Goldswain, who is the authority’s cabinet member for community safety.

The Northern Echo has seen the report into Cllr Goldswain’s unsuccessful appeal against the decision to prevent him from standing as a Labour candidate.

And Lewis Atkinson, the chairman of the regional board assessments panel, who oversaw the appeal process, wrote: “The Panel took the decision that Mr Goldswain did not demonstrate political judgement and a commitment to Labour’s aims and values, specifically a refusal to meaningfully or actively participate in the campaign to win the parliamentary election in Redcar.”

Among the evidence put before the appeals panel, included a witness statement from fellow councillor Dale Quigley, who also works in the office of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, Tom Blenkinsop.

In his role as Constituency Labour Party campaign co-ordinator, Mr Quigley said that there had been a lack of campaigning activity from Cllr Goldswain.

The councillor accepts he has not directly helped with Miss Turley’s campaign in recent months but says he did support her at her selection.

He said: “At the beginning I was fully behind Anna Turley’s campaign but I feel that I was misled at the time and since then there has been some issues between us. I accept that but I would never advocate people to vote for any other party.

“I became a councillor to make things better for the people who live in the ward I represent and I believe I have a good record for doing that. The claim that I don’t work hard for the Labour Party is simply not true.”

The other councillors who were not reselected by the party were the chairman of Cleveland Fire Authority, Cllr Brian Briggs; chairman of the council’s planning committee, Cllr Brian Hogg; member of the cabinet for corporate resources Cllr Norman Pickthall and the fifth councillor is serving mayor, Carole Simms.

Labour North spokesperson said: "All unsuccessful applicants are given the right of appeal. These appeals were heard by members of the Regional Board who were completely unconnected to Redcar and Cleveland.

“In addition, in these cases, the appeals panel also consisted of a member from the North West Regional Board. Appellants entered into the appeals process agreeing that the outcome of that appeal was binding on both parties."