EX ARMY SALFORD/ LABOUR PARTY COUNCILLOR RESIGNS OVER MENTAL HEALTH BULLYING BY FELLOW COUNCILLORS
LABOUR COUNCILLOR CLAIMS BULLYING BY LOCAL PARTY BIG WIGS OVER MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
“If me as an elected councillor gets treated like this by the powers that be, then what chance has the public got?”
Swinton South Councillor, Neil Blower, has resigned from the Labour Party claiming “systematic harassment and bullying” by the `powers that be’ in the Salford Labour Party. Neil is a former soldier diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but maintains that fellow councillors are claiming that he’s faking his illness, while subjecting him to some “truly vile things”.
Last year, Salford Mayor Ian Stewart joined the drive to help armed forced veterans, saying “We want to make sure they are supported. We are very proud of them.”
Salford Labour Party has run into more problems with the resignation yesterday of Swinton South Councillor, Neil Blower, claiming “systematic harassment and bullying” by fellow Party councillors.
“I’m a former soldier and have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to my service” Neil told the Salford Star last night “It’s an ongoing problem that I am currently being treated for, and took some time off while I was undergoing the treatment. Certain individuals in the Salford Labour group think I’m faking it.”
Before becoming a councillor, Neil actually wrote an acclaimed book about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Shell Shock: The diary of Tommy Atkins – as“a form of creative therapy” to deal with his issues. Indeed, he became active in the Labour Party after campaigning for veterans rights…
In his letter of resignation to the Labour Party Regional Office he writes…
“I feel I have no other choice due to the systematic harassment and bullying I’ve been subjected to over the course of many months due to my mental health issues…I’ve been told by third parties that certain Labour councillors have said some truly vile things about me – `scum‘, `A disease’ and that `he shouldn’t be in the party’, and that I’m `faking my illness’. This combined with sideways glances, being ignored and colleagues leaving the room when I enter have had a detrimental effect on my wellbeing and I will no longer stand for it.”
Last year, Salford Council joined the drive to help armed forced veterans, with Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart saying “They all have made a huge sacrifice for this country and its citizens and we want to make sure they are supported. We are very proud of them.”
Now, while Neil says that most councillors are `decent hard working people’ and that this `isn’t a political thing, I’m Labour through and through’, he feels that he’s been targeted by a “few people at Salford who have very archaic attitudes particularly on mental health”…
“I got into politics to try and make a difference and I think we should be talking about mental health and people who make decisions shouldn’t have these kinds of attitudes” he told the Star “I can’t prove any of these allegations but I feel strongly that they are true because I feel it… It’s the sideways glances and hushed voices; people actually leave the room when I walk in, it’s not a nice environment to be in at all and it’s all come to a head. As I can’t prove it, I have resigned as I’ve got no other avenue to go down really.
“It’s just very surprising and shocking the way I’ve been treated” he added “The things that have been said are quite disgusting really… If me as an elected councillor gets treated like this by the powers that be then what chance has the public got?”
Neil Blower will continue to serve as an Independent Salford councillor…
*Read Neil Blower’s resignation letter to the Regional Labour Party in full…
`I am a Councillor in Salford representing Swinton South ward and it is with great sadness that, effective immediately I tender my resignation to the Labour Party.
I feel I have no other choice due to the systematic harassment and bullying I’ve been subjected to over the course of many months due to my mental health issues. I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to my military service which also causes severe clinical depression and social anxiety for which I am undergoing treatment in the hope that I will get better and be able to live a normal life.
I’ve been told by third parties that certain Labour councillors have said some truly vile things about me – “scum”, “A disease” and that “he shouldn’t be in the party” and that I’m “faking my illness”. This combined with sideways glances, being ignored and colleagues leaving the room when I enter have had a detrimental effect on my wellbeing and I will no longer stand for it.
I’ve never raised these issues before because I feel the nature and entrenched attitudes of many members of the Labour group would mean nothing would be done and the situation made worse, nor do I expect any action will taken in the future by the Party, leaving me no other choice than to resign and be an independent ward Councillor.
I’ve ccd the chief whip of the Labour group and the chair of my CLP into this to inform them of my decision…’
* The main graphic shows the cover of Neil Blower’s second book, Dividing Lines `a contemporary novel that tells the explosive story of two worlds colliding in 21st Century Britain’.
LABOUR PARTY COUNCILLOR RESIGNS OVER MENTAL HEALTH BULLYING BY FELLOW COUNCILLORS
EX ARMY SALFORD LABOUR PARTY COUNCILLOR RESIGNS OVER MENTAL HEALTH BULLYING BY FELLOW COUNCILLORS