THE suspended chairman of Thornaby Labour Party has resigned from the party after criticising Labour-dominated Stockton Borough Council's attitude to Thornaby.

Terry Chapman, who was Labour councillor for Yarm, has also been involved in disputes with the party's parliamentary candidate for Stockton South, Louise Baldock.

Mr Chapman, who changed his name from Murphy after his recent marriage, had criticised Labour for choosing its candidate from an all-women shortlist after hoping to be selected himself.

He was under investigation by the party following a number of online rows with members of his the party, which he described as “a witch hunt.”

In a long resignation letter, sent to The Northern Echo, Mr Chapman, who joined Labour in 1983, said: “I was left speechless when Stockton council turned down plans to build a hotel in Thornaby on the basis of their concerns about the potential impact on the regeneration of Stockton High Street. Then Stockton councillors identified two potential gypsy sites in Thornaby.

“If campaigning for one’s community against the decisions of a council, whether that council is red, blue or somewhere in between, is not allowed by the Party then I cannot be part of it. The Stalinist control freaks really have taken over the asylum.”

However, Ms Baldock said she had never known Stockton Labour Party, north and south, so united in 22 years.

She was disappointed Mr Chapman’s resignation meant the investigation couldn’t be completed, and added: “We have zero interest in fighting each other and Terry’s resignation will draw a line under any lingering unpleasantness.”