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Hatton Withdraws but Liverpool Militant Myths Remain

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

In February 2019, the Liverpool Echo reported that Derek Hatton, former Deputy Leader of Liverpool City Council, had finally been re-admitted to the Labour Party 35 years after being expelled. However, two days later the Echo reported that his application had been suspended pending an investigation!

A Labour Party source is reported to have told the Echo that ‘ Derek Hatton was given provisional membership, pending NEC approval ....’

In March, the Echo reported that Hatton had withdrawn his application to join referring to ‘ the hate campaign against Jeremy Corbyn ‘ which had apparently intensified because of his application, but he thanked those ‘ leading the Party nationally and locally who have championed my return ‘.

While it is not surprising that the decision to give Derek Hatton provisional membership provoked strong reactions, what is surprising is the amount of support Hatton appears to have amongst the high ranks of the Labour Party. The best example of this is probably Dawn Butler, then Shadow Women & Equalities Minister and declared contender for the position of Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

Dawn was reported as having said at the 2018 Labour Party Conference, “Conference we are in Liverpool where over 30 years ago the Council stood up to Thatcher and said ‘ Better Break The Law Than Break The Poor’.”


Here Dawn Butler is referring to an historic working class slogan from Poplar Council in the 1920’s, which was usurped by Derek Hatton’s Militant Tendency in the 1980’s, seeking to create the myth that Liverpool City Council broke the law to avoid passing on Tory Government cuts to the working class people of the City.


> In reality, the sectarian politics of the Militant Tendency led the City Council into a deficit budget cul de sac which they tried to get out of by turning on the local authority workforce, their biggest supporters, subsequently issuing each employee with a Compulsory Redundancy Notice; a ‘tactic’ that Derek Hatton still defends (see separate articles for detail)..


> When some of today’s leaders of the Labour Movement champion myth over reality in Liverpool, then there has never been more need for an Inside Liverpool Labour History website where people, who actually took part in these events, have a platform to set the record straight!

Merseyside Tourism Office

NOTE: Derek Hatton subsequently withdrew his application for Labour Party membership.

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