Jeremy Corbyn will be kept away from Derbyshire during the county council election campaign, Conservative Opposition Group Leader Barry Lewis has learned.
Although the hard-left Labour leader visited the council’s Matlock headquarters to launch the County Labour Group's election campaign last December, senior Labour sources now believe he is a liability and could ruin their chances in the May 2017 elections.
"Make no mistake," says Councillor Lewis, "there remains significant support for his hard-left policies at Derbyshire's County Hall. But Derbyshire voters won't be fooled by Jeremy Corbyn's absence from Labour's local county council election campaign.
Councillor Lewis said despite outspoken support for Corbyn's leadership success from the Labour-run Derbyshire County Council, he is unlikely to be seen canvassing on our streets.
"Mr Corbyn's ratings are so low that senior party workers do not want to see him on the Derbyshire campaign trail. He may be popular among London Labour Party activists but he does not have the support of ordinary voters in Derbyshire," continued Councillor Lewis.
"Now it seems some of his most ardent supporters would prefer to keep their support secret – until after the election.”
Councillor Lewis said he genuinely feared for the future of Derbyshire County Council services if Labour was left in control.
"The fact is Derbyshire Labour is hand in hand with the Unite union - which plays a big hand in the selection of their election candidates - and the far-left Momentum group," he added.
"It's time local people and local services were put before party dogma. The last four years have shown Labour has got its priorities wrong - cutting important services while spending millions on publicity, office refurbishments and expensive legal advice. It has got to stop."