Civil war has erupted among Labour Party members on Caerphilly County Borough Council after an official complaint was made against council leader Dave Poole and his cabinet.
The Labour group on Caerphilly County Borough Council is predominately made up of members of the Caerphilly Constituency Labour Party (CLP) and the Islwyn CLP.
At an Islwyn CLP meeting last month, members “overwhelmingly” backed a motion to submit a complaint to Welsh Labour.
A spokesman for Islwyn CLP told Caerphilly Observer the complaint has now been passed on to the UK Labour Party.
In a statement, Islwyn CLP said: “The complaint has been submitted against a backdrop of personal attacks made against rank and file members, as well as against the Member of Parliament, Chris Evans.
“The council leader and his cabinet have previously criticised Chris Evans MP for supporting his constituents in their campaign to keep local leisure centres open.
“Islwyn CLP are concerned the actions of the Caerphilly council Leader and his cabinet are bringing the Islwyn Labour Party into disrepute.”
The official complaint asked Welsh Labour to “investigate the actions of the leader and his cabinet – who have deliberately misled us, ignored the views of the CLP, and whose actions have brought this constituency party into disrepute.”
Further issues raised in the complaint included the cabinet’s decision to close Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre, which was deemed unlawful by a high court judge.
The complaint also stated that “Islwyn CLP believes that the impact of the six-year £4 million pay scandal and the pushing forward with the closure of public services, including that of Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre, has and will continue to have a devastating effect on the Labour vote in Caerphilly.
“The decision to seek an investigation into the Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council and its cabinet members has not been taken lightly by the CLP but as this is an extremely important issue we are submitting a formal complaint and ask Welsh Labour to take action.”
The motion was originally put forward by the Cefn Fforest branch of the party, which stated: “By voting to close Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre, the Leader and Islwyn cabinet members have ignored the CLP, ignored our MP, ignored the scrutiny committee and ignored the local community who have marched to save it and signed petitions in their thousands.”
Islwyn’s Labour MP Mr Evans, who has been at odds with Cllr Poole over recent council decisions, said: “It is a matter of deep regret that Islwyn Labour Party’s relationship with the cabinet has been so deeply damaged that they have been forced into taking this action.
“It is my understanding that a full investigation will be taking place by the national Labour Party.”
Caerphilly Observer asked Cllr Poole to comment on the situation, but he said: “This a Labour Party matter and I don’t think it is appropriate to conduct party business through the local media.”
Blackwood councillor Nigel Dix, who left Labour to be an independent councillor in 2016, said: “The public are losing faith in this administration.”