A VETERAN Labour councillor is leaving the party...despite her constituency having the best Labour general election result in two decades.

Judith McMahon, who represents the Kursaal ward in Southend, sent out letters to homes in her ward stating that she would not be renewing her membership to the party.

The letter suggest that she is dissatisfied with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the party.

The former mayor said: “As things have not improved it seems that supporters are chasing ideology of a past age and are seemingly intolerant of those who do not align with them even within the Labour party which is no longer a broad church.”

She goes on to state in the letter, dated May 24, that she will serve out the rest of her term, which ends in 2019, as a councillor.

But some residents have been left disheartened by the announcement.

Derek Rudd, of Beresford Road, Southend, said: “I was very surprised to receive the hand-delivered letter.

“It’s not clear what her reasons are at all. I’m concerned because I voted for her on the basis that she was Labour and now we don’t know what party she will represent.

“I’ve always found her to be a really good ward councillor and had no idea she would be leaving.

“I’m just very disappointed that someone I held in such high regard would leave without any real explanation.”

Ian Gilbert, leader of the Labour group in Southend, said: “We are obviously disappointed by this, coming as Labour receives it’s highest number of votes in a general election in this constituency for two decades.

“It is absolutely clear from all the evidence we have seen in the recent general election that residents of Judith’s ward are supporting and voting for the Labour Party.

“Our nine Labour councillors, heartened by the results for Labour in a general election, remain committed to providing a constructive opposition to the Tories on Southend Council.”