A LABOUR councillor has resigned in a protest after a colleague was readmitted to the party after being suspended for posting anti-Semitic material.

Councillor Peter Atkinson quit the party on Friday, August 13 after Councillor Anne Pissaridou was readmitted to the party.

Cllr Pissaridou was suspended last July following the discovery of two anti-Semetic social media posts from 2016 and 2018.

Five days later two more Labour councillors resigned, one of whom also faced complaints over her Facebook activity.

Peter said “The Labour Party and Keir Starmer have actually dealt with the problem of anti-Semitism in the party very robustly on the whole. Cllr Pissaridou was only temporarily suspended, however.

"I can’t change that decision but I can take a decision of my own not to share a political space with her in the same ward”.

Mr Atkinson, who also works as a mental health nurse for the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, survived a candidate selection meeting in 2018, despite efforts by Momentum to replace him.

He was first elected to North Portslade in 2015 with a small majority of 98 votes over the nearest Conservative candidate.

In 2019 he increased his majority to almost 900 winning 30 per cent of the vote.

Peter added “This is a truly sad and significant decision for me as I have been a Labour party member for over 40 years, almost all of my adult life.

"I cannot, however, just sit back and accept what has happened.

Racism of any sort, including anti-Semitism is unacceptable.

"This is no reflection on the Labour Group, though. They have been vigorous in ensuring that there is no place for anti-Semitism within their ranks”

Peter will now sit as an independent councillor until the next local elections in 2023.

“I am committed to carrying on working for the residents of Mile Oak and North Portslade both on individual casework and community issues such as anti-social behaviour and the provision of local services,” said Peter.