Page 1, 6th August 1982

6th August 1982
Page 1
Page 1, 6th August 1982 — Mellish hits out at Labour's 'Mafia'

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Mellish hits out at Labour's 'Mafia'

MR ROBERT Mellish, the Catholic MP for Bermondsey, who this week resigned from the Labour Party. hit out at local party members who recently recommended his expulsion.

In an exclusive interview with the Catholic Herald, just hours before the local executive committee voted for his expulsion because of his support for candidates standing against official Labour choices in recent local elections, Mr Mellish described those now in control of the Bermondsey Labour Party as " 'hitlist' experts" and "a genuine mafia".

"I supported some independent local candidate and I appealed to the local people to vote for them. and they did. they followed by advice. By an almost three to one majority, they defeated the Social Democratic Party and the official Labour candidates. Now, for that, these so-called

brothers of mine wish to expel me,he said.

Mr Mellish still intends to resign his seat and force a by-election if Mr Peter Tatchell is reselected as prospective parliamentary candidate for Bermondsey, and his reselection is endorsed by the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party.

"Tatchell goes through a reselection procedure with a management that is buttoned right up, because the type of people now in control of the Bermondsey Labour Party, although they complain about witch-hunts, they are 'hit-list' experts, they are genuine mafia." Mr Mellish said.

But he denied reports carried in 'The Times that he had been in contact with the SDP about the possibility of an alliance in the event of an election.

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