A CHESHIRE West and Chester councillor previously tasked with leading its fight against poverty has dramatically quit the Labour party claiming she was the victim of ‘local sabotage and mistreatment’.

Cllr Mandy Clare, who represents Winsford Dene, was also a member of Labour’s National Women’s Committee but resigned from the party on International Women’s Day, also claiming she had been bullied and prevented from speaking out about women’s rights and from raising concerns about ‘serial abuse’.

First elected in 2019, until recently Cllr Clare had served as the Cheshire West and Chester Leader’s Champion for Poverty and Inequality and led development of the authority’s new 10 point poverty strategy entitled ‘A Fairer Future’, which is due to be presented to the council’s ruling cabinet next Wednesday.

But she alleged she had been subjected to what she called ‘sabotage and mistreatment’ at local level.

Labour Cllr Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, rejected the claims and said Cllr Clare had been removed from that role before quitting the party.

She said: "Cllr Clare's decision to leave the Labour Party follows her replacement as the Leader’s Champion for Poverty and Inequality.

“I reassigned this role due to complaints received from Cllr Clare's constituents and council colleagues regarding her conduct.

"Cllr Clare's claims of sabotage and mistreatment are unfounded.

“Cheshire West Labour group is made up of team players who make their decisions democratically through debate and consensus.”

Cllr Clare also hit out at the national party’s leadership, branding it a ‘repressive regime’. She has commented in the past about transgender issues and women’s rights.

In a previous Tweet from August last year, she wrote: “Tired of the bullying, name-calling, no-platforming, and silencing.  Loads of women are worried about the erosion of sex-based rights. Not transphobic. Won’t be bullied.”

Commenting about her decision to leave Labour, she added: “The solutions to the conflicts that exist within some areas of women’s and trans rights won’t be resolved by the closing down of one side of that discussion. However, right across the Labour Party, women are being forced into silence and forced to give way.

“Only one viewpoint is allowed and it isn’t the viewpoint of women who are fighting to retain our rights. Any woman who tries to push back against that or to argue for a space for respectful debate is attacked with impunity.”

She confirmed she will continue to represent Dene as an independent.

A Labour party spokesperson, said “We are sorry to hear of Cllr Clare’s decision.

“The Labour party takes all complaints seriously and investigates in line with our rules and procedures.”