THE new chairman of Bolton’s Liberal Democrats has accused Labour of ‘hurtful, divisive and self serving politics’.

Elliott Bermudez-Galton, who claims to be a former Labour activist, has been elected to take over as party chairman from Kevin Walsh.

He has now claimed that he severed ties with Labour in 2016 because it was ‘growing increasingly arrogant due to their majority, which only hurts Bolton’.

However, Labour chiefs have labelled the accusations ‘baseless’ and said they were not aware of him being an active party member.

Mr Bermudez-Galton said: “I was involved with the Labour Party for almost 16 years, eight of which here in Bolton. It was that experience with Bolton Labour that led to me quitting the party altogether. As a member of the party, you get to see and hear things you don’t agree with and I’m not someone who can just sit back and accept it.

“Bolton Labour don’t act in the interests of the entire town – their only real priority is getting Labour candidates elected and keeping themselves in power. The local party is run by a very small group of people who manipulate the membership to keep themselves in charge but, at the same time, completely ignore the wishes of ordinary members. There is also a concerning disdain for any areas that don’t elect Labour councillors – it seems that these areas are openly targeted for cuts and a reduction in services.”

He added: “Unfortunately, Bolton Labour don’t want to listen to anyone else and think that all policies the local party comes up with are automatically perfect. They won’t accept even the slightest criticism – just look at the Asons debacle and the unwillingness of Labour to accept any wrong doing.

“They are growing increasingly arrogant due to their majority which only hurts Bolton and Boltonians. Even worse, the party has some awful tactics to try and brush aside criticism of any kind. As a member in Bolton, it was a given that any attacks from opposition parties were to be called lies and made to be ridiculous – meaning any attempt to hold Labour to account on behalf of local people is ignored.”

“I believe in a fresh start for politics here in Bolton where we all pull together to make the town a better place with a fair deal for all Boltonians. Elected officials should put the people they represent first instead of the party they are a member of and decisions should be completely transparent.

“This is why I joined the Bolton Liberal Democrats.

“The party is made up of like minded people who want the same fresh start that I yearn for.

“The membership are only motivated by making Bolton better and stopping the hurtful, divisive and self serving politics of the Labour Party.

“We are willing to consider all the options and opinions and realising that the best decisions are made when everyone has had a say.”

A Bolton Labour Group spokesman said: “We wish Mr Bermudez-Galton the best of luck with his new role. We were not aware of him being an active member of the Labour Party, during his time in Bolton, therefore his comments are baseless.”