A COUNCILLOR who wants to rejoin the Labour Party says she is "in limbo" due to confusion over new party rules.

Cllr Debbie Newall, who still sits as an independent member in the council chambers, abstained from voting last week.

She left the party six months ago citing personal reasons but announced she would rejoin at the local elections on May 2.

The Breightmet representative attended the election count wearing a Labour rosette after campaigning for her ward colleague John Byrne.

But since then she has been stopped from attending group meetings and may not be allowed to stand as a Labour candidate next year.

She said: “I’m in a very odd state of limbo. I wanted to come back to the Labour Party. I didn’t realise that it was going to be this problematic."

The former cabinet member now has a provisional membership and has been told she cannot attend certain meetings for an eight-week period.

However, the letter she received with her new membership card stated she can attend "local" party meetings in a non-voting capacity.

She attended a group meeting the day after Labour's devastating defeat at the polls but was later told she could attend these meetings.

She said: “I haven’t got a problem with the rule, I just wish somebody would tell me about it."

Over the next few weeks, members can object to her rejoining the group and her Constituency Labour Party will ultimately decide whether to refuse her membership.

Cllr Newall, who is up for re-election next year fears she might not stand as a Labour candidate because she has missed the deadline.

The Bolton News understands that she may still be allowed to apply to be a Labour candidate if she is granted extenuating circumstances.