Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 11:08 UK

Mayor expelled from Labour Party

Mayor Martin Winters
Mr Winter was Doncaster's first elected mayor in 2002

The mayor of Doncaster has been expelled from the Labour Party, officials have confirmed.

Martin Winter, 46, resigned from the party earlier this month to form his own political group, allowing him to run as elected mayor for a third time.

Mr Winter has been twice-elected since 2002 but Labour rules do not allow someone to run for a third time.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "The mayor has walked away from our work, as a result he has been auto-expelled."

New party

Mr Winter was sacked during a council meeting on Wednesday night, said Independent Party leader Garth Oxby.

Councillor Oxby described the situation as a "constitutional crisis".

When Mr Winter announced he was forming a new party - the Labour Group - on 12 May.

Fellow councillor Stuart Exelby, who joined Mr Winter's new party after he sacked the rest of his cabinet, has also been expelled from the Labour Party.

Councillor Eve Hughes is part of Mr Winter's new party which now constitutes as the council's cabinet.

But Mrs Hughes is still a member of the Labour Party after re-registering with the political party.

At the time a Labour spokesman said the move was a breach of party rules and the three members would have 14 days to re-register with the Labour Party but Mr Winter failed to do so.

The Labour Party spokesman added: "Doncaster deserves better and... Labour MPs will focus on putting the people first."

The council is one of 12 nationally to be run by an elected mayor.

Mr Winter became the first elected mayor of Doncaster in 2002 and was re-elected in 2005.

Labour has the largest share on Doncaster Council with 27 seats, while independents have 15, Lib Dems 12 and Conservatives nine.

The mayor represents Doncaster Council and the borough on a local, national and international platform and is personally accountable for all strategy and policy decisions made.

Mayor 'forms new political party'
12 May 08 |  South Yorkshire
Council MD quits after two years
01 Feb 07 |  South Yorkshire
Double resignation in council row
13 Feb 06 |  South Yorkshire
Cabinet issues ultimatum to mayor
15 Feb 06 |  South Yorkshire

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