CHESHIRE East Labour Party has refuted allegations of discrimination after one of their members quit to become an Independent councillor.

Crewe West member, Michelle Sherratt, announced she had left the party on Monday – days after being deselected by Labour to stand for them in 2015.

She accused Labour of lacking maternity policies that would facilitate greater attendance for working mothers and said her non-attendance at some council meetings was due to childcare issues.

David Newton, Leader of the CEC Labour Group, said, "Councillor Sherratt claims that she has been discriminated against.

“It is important to state that CEC Labour Group recognise that some councillors have child care issues, and she is not the only one so placed.

“In recognition of her position the Labour Group made the positive decision, after consultation across the group, of which she was a part, to change our monthly meeting times to a time more suitable for her.

“It is not true that we prevaricated over this. Indeed, once the decision was made it was communicated to all members of the group, and if she says that she was not told of this change then I can only assume that she simply did not read her emails.”

A spokesman for the group added: “It is also untrue to say that the Labour Party discriminates against women. Michelle was a candidate on an all woman shortlist.

“Labour is the only party which has a quota of 50 per cent for women candidates and this rule is strictly applied across the whole party in every constituency, in both national and local elections, and Crewe and Nantwich is no exception.”