Mystery as Labour Party suspends Royton North councillor James Larkin

JAMES Larkin, a councillor for the Royton North ward, has been suspended from the Labour Party pending investigation.

No reason has been given for Cllr Larkin’s change of political circumstance and the Correspondent was unsuccessful in attempts to contact him.

James Larkin

But a spokesperson for Labour North West confirmed: “Montaz Ali Azad and James Larkin have been suspended from the Labour Party pending investigation.

“We do not comment on individual cases.”

Cllr Larkin took his place on Oldham Council in 2016 after previous incumbent Bernard Judge had been deselected by the Royton North Labour Group.

He won the seat with a majority of 664 from UKIP candidate Ruth Keating.

Cllr Larkin becomes an Independent councillor, as does Montaz Ali Azad in the Coldhurst ward.

Labour now have 45 members on the Council, the Liberal Democrats eight, the Conservatives four and Independents, three.

A spokesperson for Oldham Council confirmed: “We have been informed that he (Cllr Larkin) is no longer a member of the Labour Group.

“But as this is a Labour Party matter, you will need speak to the Labour Party if you want any further information. “

The changes were also confirmed in a political balance review submitted to the September meeting of Oldham Council.

The Correspondent approached Cllr Larkin’s two fellow Royton North councillors Hannah Roberts and Clint Phythian for a comment.

Cllr Roberts declined to comment and advised us to contact the Regional Labour Party. We received no response from Cllr Phythian.

Cllr Larkin is the son of Tony Larkin who also served the Royton North ward for 18 years. He died in March 2017 after losing his battle with bowel cancer.