A veteran Labor politician has defied her group leader and accepted a position in Hyndburn Council’s new ‘Rainbow’ cabinet.
Cllr Joyce Plummer has accepted an offer from independent borough boss Cllr Miles Parkinson to keep her former position as resource portfolio holder.
She now faces disciplinary action from her party that could lead to her suspension or expulsion.
At Hyndburn’s annual council meeting last month, Cllr Parkinson, who quit Labor in March describing the local party as ‘unpleasant, bullying and vindictive’, was confirmed as borough leader with the backing of councilors conservatives and independents.
He quickly offered Peel Borough Cllr Plummer and new Labor leader Cllr Munsif Dad positions in his new cross-party cabinet.
The other members are Tory group boss Cllr Marlene Haworth as her deputy alongside fellow Tories Cllr Peter Britcliffe, Cllr Stephen Smithson and Cllr Kath Pratt.
Cllr Dad refused saying the borough needs “a strong opposition that can challenge and control the executive”.
But now Cllr Plummer has accepted the offer to remain in charge of the authority’s finances.
She said: ‘I took a ministerial post as a Labor councilor and am still a member of the Labor Party.
The Lancashire Telegraph understands that at an internal meeting last night it was decided to institute disciplinary proceedings for Cllr Plummer and that his decision could lead to his suspension or expulsion from the Labor Group and the party.
That would leave the council’s political balance of 13 Labor councilors to 14 Conservatives, seven independents and one vacancy.
Cllr Parkinson said: “I am delighted that Cllr Plummer has accepted the position of Cabinet Member for Resources.
“She has vast experience and is the perfect person for the job as we look at our council’s budget which could grow from £1m a year to £100m.
“With the offers we have to government and other bodies, we are looking at £100million to start with. This is a unique opportunity to transform Hyndburn.
“Disciplinary action is obviously a matter for the Labor Party.
“I would be disappointed if she was disciplined as there is no formal pact – just councilors from different parties working together for the benefit of the borough.”
The Lancashire Telegraph has contacted Cllr Dad for comment.