Councillor forced out of Labor Party

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Exile on Young Street: Cr Steve Toms, centre, arm in arm with Liberal MPs Neale Burgess and Chris Crewther. Pic: Facebook

A FRANKSTON councillor has been kicked out of the Australian Labor Party.

South ward councillor Steve Toms had his party membership cancelled last month by the Victorian branch of the ALP.

Cr Toms has been embroiled in a public stoush with Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke over Young St traders complaints that the street redevelopment works negatively impacted on businesses.

The increasingly bitter argument mostly conducted online on Facebook culminated in Mr Edbrooke threatening to sue the former deputy mayor for alleged defamation in September.

Cr Toms took to Facebook last month to announce the Labor Party had cancelled his four-year membership of the party.

“For four years I’ve given blood, sweat and tears to the Labor Party and to the values it upholds,” Cr Toms posted on Facebook.

“I was elected by the people of Frankston to be independent in conducting my role as councillor in the best interests of the people in our municipality.

“In recent times I’ve come under attack from the local Labor Party here in Frankston for standing up for our hardworking and passionate local traders here in Frankston City over the long overdue and bungled state government Young St roadworks.

Cr Toms wrote: “It is obvious that the Labor Party do not like councillors that stand up for their community adhering to the councillors oath of office without fear.”

He said there has been “a constant dirty smear campaign” against him and his supporters during the Young St stoush.

“The Labor Party left me I did not leave the Labor Party,” Cr Toms said.

Cr Toms did not return several calls about his exit from the Labor Party.

It is understood that Cr Toms had his Labor Party membership revoked for allegedly being disloyal to the party and publicly attacking another member of the ALP.

First published in the Frankston Times – 11 December 2017

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