Derek Hatton re-joins Labour Party 29 years after expulsion

Rob McLoughlin, presenter of ITV Granada's Party People, with Derek Hatton

He was once dubbed a 'firebrand', was a member of the far-left Militant organisation and was one of Labour's most controversial figures in the 1980s.

Now, 29 years after he was expelled, the former Deputy Leader of Liverpool City Council, Derek Hatton, is returning to the Labour Party.

In an exclusive interview at the People's History Museum with ITV Granada's political programme Party People, 67-year-old Hatton revealed he re-joined the party on the 9th of May, two days after it suffered one of its worst ever electoral defeats, to 'have one more go at having a say in the way the Labour Party is going'.

He told Party People Presenter Rob McLoughlin:

To some it will be a surprise to see Hatton re-admitted to the Labour Party, given the list of controversies which followed him in his political career and the way his relationship with the party broke down back in 1985.

He was at the centre of one of the great political storms of Thatcher's Britain when Liverpool Council refused to comply with the Conservative government's mandate to limit local council spending.

Hatton and the left-wing Labour Council refused to set a legal budget for the 1985/86 year, putting council jobs at risk and causing a financial crisis in the city.

Their rebellion was eventually defeated and at the Labour Party conference Neil Kinnock denounced the 'grotesque chaos' of Hatton and the Liverpool City Council before the National Executive Committee suspended the Liverpool district Labour Party and ordered an investigation.

The result was the expulsion of all Militant Tendency members from Labour.

Derek Hatton on Labour's future

Despite this, when pressed on whether he was surprised to be re-admitted Hatton replied:

Derek Hatton on the Labour leadership

Mr Hatton refused to endorse a candidate for the Labour leadership but called for a change in direction for the new leader:

Derek Hatton on himself

Hatton, whose actions in fighting the Thatcher Government were condemned from the rostrum by Neil Kinnock during The Labour Party Conference in 1985, 12 months before he was expelled, discussed his own political record and the reasons why he feels Ed Miliband failed to win over the electorate.

Asked about his life today as a businessman he said:

It's clear the old spark of political certainty hasn't blown out. When Rob McLoughlin asked was the Derek Hatton of the 1980s wrong or is the Derek Hatton of 2015 wrong now, he replied: