Fireman quits Labour party in protest

A FIREFIGHTER from north Suffolk has quit the Labour Party in protest at the Government's handling of the fire service dispute.Paul Brown, a full-time firefighter stationed at Lowestoft, had been a member of the party for more than 15 years but felt he could not continue with his membership.

A FIREFIGHTER from north Suffolk has quit the Labour Party in protest at the Government's handling of the fire service dispute.

Paul Brown, a full-time firefighter stationed at Lowestoft, had been a member of the party for more than 15 years but felt he could not continue with his membership.

"I believe the firefighters have been treated very unfairly by this Government all through the dispute with our employers.

"I never thought I would have to resign from the party but felt I had no choice," he said.


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Mr Brown also criticised other political parties for their actions during the lengthy dispute.

"The firefighters were attacked, not just by the Government, but also by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

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"It has made both myself and my colleagues extremely angry," he said.

Mr Brown has become one of the first members of a new political party set up by Paul Woolstenholmes, the Suffolk Fire Brigades Union secretary.

The Firefighters Against Cuts party has been formed to "re-establish a balance" in the political representation that they see is absent from the mainstream parties.

Both Mr Brown and Mr Woolstenholmes have pledged to support candidates in the forthcoming local elections who will support their call to resist cuts to the fire service and increase the number of firefighters and emergency control operators.

Mr Brown said the new party had no official connection with the FBU but he hoped it would be seen as a positive step.

"Something has to be done to stop the attacks on the fire service and other public sector services," he said.

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