A FORMER council finance boss has quit Labour over ‘a culture of bullying, harassment and victimisation’ in the local party.

Gareth Molineux, who served as a councillor for Great Harwood and as a member of Hyndburn Council’s cabinet, published his resignation letter on Facebook.

The 39-year-old highlighted the attitude of former Labour MP Graham Jones and the treatment of his Tory successor Sara Britcliffe as reason for his departure.

His wife Jenny remains a Labour borough and county councillor.

Mr Molineux’s letter says: “It saddens me that I find myself writing this letter.

“It is fair to say that it is not the running of the council that I have great concerns with, but it is with the running of the Constituency Labour Party.

“I joined an inclusive and democratic Labour Party, a party that believed it was OK to have differing views.

“Unfortunately, it seems that democracy as we know it and the right to a differing opinion is no longer welcome within the Hyndburn CLP. There is a culture of bullying, harassment and victimisation if you do not fall into line with the executive or the former MP.

“I have obviously been very vocal about their conduct especially towards their treatment of the newly-elected Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Miss Sara Britcliffe, which has been personal, harassing and vindictive.

“It seems to me that the CLP executive is more concerned about settling scores for personal revenge than it is in actually improving our area.”

Miss Britcliffe praised Mr Molineux for his ‘courage and integrity’ while Mr Jones said: “This is really sad.”

Hyndburn Council leader Cllr Miles Parkinson said: “My feeling is one of great sadness.”

n The leader of Hyndburn Council’s Conservative group Cllr Marlene Howarth is facing a Standards Board investigation over social media posts.

It follows a complaint that posts discussing race she shared on a private Facebook page visible to the public were ‘disgraceful’.

A Hyndburn Council spokeswoman said: “A complaint has been received and will be investigated by the Standards Committee.”

Cllr Haworth declined to comment.