THE leader of the Bromsgrove Labour Group has quit his role and the party – because of Jeremy Corbyn’s proposals to abolish private schools.

Dr Michael Thompson said he was ‘simply devastated’ to leave the party but, as an employee of Bromsgrove School, added the plans had left him in an ‘arguably untenable position’.

He intends to remain as an independent councillor and has been replaced as leader by Peter McDonald, councillor for Rubery North, who was elected earlier this week.

Labour’s national leader Mr Corbyn announced that the party’s next general election manifesto would include a commitment to integrate all private schools into the state sector.

Its plans to withdraw charitable status, public subsidies and tax privileges to private schools are widely interpreted as virtually abolishing the institutions.

Dr Thompson said: “The motion has placed a number of Labour Party members who work at independent schools, or whose children attend or have attended independent schools, in a difficult and arguably untenable position.

“It is no secret that I work for Bromsgrove School, a school in the independent sector. It is with deep regret, therefore, that I have resigned my membership of the Labour Party, and consequently my position as leader and member of the Labour Group on Bromsgrove District Council.

“I do not intend to stand down as councillor and call a by-election. I will remain a councillor and serve those who elected me to the best of my ability.

“I have been a tireless activist for the Labour Party for many years. The Party is many things to many people but, to me, it was always the party of kindness, compassion and understanding; and it is with these values in mind that I will continue my work for the people of Charford and wider Bromsgrove.

“On leaving the party, I am simply devastated. I would like to thank all the wonderful, wonderful members of the Bromsgrove Labour family, past and present, for their support and friendship, which I will cherish always.

“It breaks my heart more than you will ever know to leave.”