Sheffield councillor who sparked controversy with previous Twitter posts to stand down next year
A Sheffield councillor has announced he will stand down at next year’s elections.
Walkley councillor Neale Gibson told a meeting of his local Labour Party branch on Wednesday evening that he would not seek re-selection as their candidate in the 2022 local elections.
Labour has felt the squeeze in Walkley over the past few years. In 2019 Coun Ben Curran held on to his seat by just 41 votes ahead of the Green Party. In last week’s local elections, the Greens won the seat vacated by Olivia Blake MP with a 484 majority.
Coun Gibson was first elected nine years ago and was an assistant to Cabinet members, chair of the Labour Group and sat on the Sheffield City Trust on behalf of the council.
He said: “It’s been my honour and privilege to have represented the people of Walkley for the last nine years and I will continue to do so for another year.
“Being part of the Walkley community is quite unique, there is nowhere quite like it in Sheffield, steep hills, wonderful shops and best of all the warmest most friendly open and supportive people.
“I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent with people and I will be staying involved with some local charities I’ve worked with over the years. I love Walkley so much that I moved here several years ago and I’ve no intention of leaving.
“I am very proud of the successes I’ve had in working for constituents, helping them improve their lives, homes and surrounding areas. I’m especially proud of getting outside funding to improve our green spaces in Walkley of which we have many.”
Coun Gibson has caused controversy in the past with his outspoken views on twitter and in 2019 he had the whip removed by Labour following two complaints to the council’s standards board.
He added: “I will remain an active member of the community and will be keeping a keen interest in the work of the local councillors. I will be staying on social media and continuing to express my views in an honest and forthright way.”