A COUNCILLOR who broke her silence about years of complaints of misconduct by a former colleague has been blocked from rejoining the Labour Party.

Bolton South East Constituency Labour Party (CLP) objected to Cllr Debbie Newall rejoining the party at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Yesterday, The Bolton News revealed a series of allegations about ex-councillor Liam Irving made over a five-year period.

Cllr Newall, who left the party in November in protest of inaction by the local group, applied to rejoin last month.

She announced she would return to Labour after Mr Irving stood down at the last election, but said the process of rejoining had been "problematic".

READ MORE: 'Why I left the Labour Party': Councillor breaks silence on years of allegations

The Breightmet councillor was" sad and disappointed" by the CLP's decision, but not surprised.

She said: "I wanted to go back to the Labour benches with the best of intentions. The reason this happened is very disappointing, but not surprising. It’s just more of the same."

CLP vice-chair Cllr Mohammed Ayub said more than 30 members attended the meeting and there was a "big majority" voting to object.

He said: “There was an objection from somebody and the CLP voted to reject her.”

Cllr Champak Mistry attended the meeting but would not disclose how he voted in the secret ballot.

He said: “The issue was Cllr Debbie Newall going to the press without giving the Labour Party the opportunity to respond to her complaints.”

But the independent councillor denies approaching the press, insisting that she simply answered questions about her membership status when she was asked.

She said: “I gave honest answers to a series of questions that were put to me when it was asked why I wasn’t sat on the Labour benches and that led to a conversation about why I left in the first place.

"Had the issue been addressed by the Labour Party, I wouldn’t have left because he would have been dealt with internally. Not at any level did they want to deal with this misogyny.”

The aggrieved councillor was not allowed to attend the meeting because an eight-week probationary period is still in force.

READ MORE: Councillor 'in limbo' as she tries to rejoin Labour six months after leaving

A letter she received with her new membership card stated that she could attend "local" party meetings in a non-voting capacity – but she was not invited on Tuesday night.

She added: “It doesn’t seem very British to be tried and found guilty in your absence.”

Labour North West said it could not comment on individual cases. A party spokesman said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints extremely seriously, they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”