MEP Nessa Childers resigns from Labour Party

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The Labour Party has lost another member. Ireland-East MEP Nessa Childers has written to Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore confirming her resignation from the party.
She says Labour is allowing Fine Gael to pursue endless austerity policies which go against the core values of the party.
She says those policies are a “profoundly immoral way to run our country”. Ms. Childers says she will run in European elections next year as an independent candidate.
She also said that she had increasingly found herself discouraged and prevented from advocating a distinctive social democratic position within the Labour party.
“While I have remained constant in my views, the Labour leadership has drifted away from a progressive policy approach. My attitude is vilified as disloyal or opportunistic when, in fact, I am defending and promoting the party s core values” she said.
She said the ‘low point’ for her was when the party leadership “abandoned me for taking a principled stance of opposition to the appointment to the EU Court of Auditors of Mr. Kevin Cardiff, who was Secretary General of the Department of Finance when the bank bailout was decided on”.
She said her ability to work for the policies she was elected on is no longer compatible with membership of the Labour Party.
She goes on to say that the government’s overall policy “seemed to be one of never-ending, pointless austerity for austerity s sake”.
“The government is on a reckless pursuit of moveable economic targets that has failed on unemployment and emigration and is inflicting misery on hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. It is a policy of cutting services like health, education and social protection while bankers, big corporates and the wealthy are allowed dodge their share of the burden. This is a profoundly immoral way to run our country” she said.
Last week, the Dáil and Seanad passed a Bill authorising the Minister for the Environment to establish a Committee to report within 2 months on redrawn boundaries for the European Parliament constituencies.
Ms. Childers believes the “uncertainty” over the new boundaries means it is not yet possible to say where she will contest in 2014.
Childers is the latest member of Labour to leave the party due to their opposition to party policy, following Tommy Broughan, Patrick Nulty, Roisin Shortall and Colm Keaveney.
She has outlined why she took this decision.
“It has become actually impossible for me to remain in the Labour Part, ever since I objected to the appointment of Kevin Cardiff to the Court of Auditors” she said.
“The climate of punishment and retribution in the Labour Party is now such that I have basically been – in a sense – pushed aside and not allowed to represent people” she added.

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