Rebel Glasgow councillor defects back to Labour after 24 hours

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Yesterday the new party Glasgow First, consisting of disaffected former Labour councillors, announced the defection of a ninth Labour councillor, Ellen Hurcombe, who represents the Canal ward on Glasgow City Council.  However just 24 hours after telling STV news that she had quit the Labour party, Ms Hurcombe has insisted that she remains a member of Labour and was not leaving the party.

On Wednesday evening Ms Hurcombe said:  “I haven’t left the Labour party and I’m not leaving the Labour party.”

Ms Hurcombe’s apparent change of heart came after her resignation from Labour was confirmed by the Labour party, who issued a statement saying they “wished her all the best” for the future.  On Wednesday the official website of Glasgow City Council listed Ms Hurcombe as a member of Glasgow First.

Commenting to STV news Wednesday evening, a Labour spokesman confirmed that Councillor Hurcombe remained a member of the party.

He said: “We know this has been a difficult time for Ellen and that she wasn’t selected to stand again for Labour, but we are very pleased that she has decided to stick with Labour and not join any other party.

“She has decided that that is the right thing for her, and we all wish her all the best for the future and for a long retirement.”

Also speaking to STV news, Glasgow First business manager Ruth Black said: “My response is one of sadness. Ellen has been an excellent councillor for many years.  I wish her well.”

When asked by the channel to comment on an accusation apparently made by Labour that Glasgow First founder Tommy Morrison, also a former Labour councillor, had “pressured” Ms Hurcombe into resigning, Ms Black replied: “I would be wary [of making such an accusation].  I’d be surprised if anybody could rail road Ellen into anything.  She is a strong woman and if she felt under pressure she would say.”