Labour MPs hit out as Derek Hatton readmitted to party 34 years after being kicked out
Derek Hatton has been readmitted to Labour more than three decades after being booted out for being a member of the far-left Militant faction.
A Labour source confirmed that the former deputy leader of Liverpool City Council had now been allowed back into the fold, months after he first claimed he had been readmitted.
The move comes 34 years after he was expelled from Labour for being a member of the far-left faction, which set an illegal budget in the city in protest at local government spending cuts by the Conservative government at Westminster.
The Mirror reported that Mr Hatton - nicknamed 'Degsy' - had his membership approved at a meeting of the Labour party's disputes panel last week.
The news emerged just hours after seven MPs quit Labour to set up a new bloc called the Independent Group - with one pointing the finger at a "hard-left" takeover of the party under Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Hatton told the Mirror: "During that 30-odd years that I was expelled, I never once stood against, supported, voted against any Labour candidate.
"It’s very topical it should be at the time when seven members resigned today because obviously there were times when it was very tempting to go a different way - during the Iraq War, loss of Clause IV, many things - but I believed then as I believe now the Labour Party is the political arm of the trade union movement.
"Whatever is happening, that’s the place to stay."
But the move to readmit Mr Hatton has already sparked a furious backlash from some MPs, with one branding it a "slap in the face" on the day of the Independent Group departures.
Mr Hatton claimed last year that he had been readmitted to the party - but Labour sources at the time said he was not yet a member.