Broadstairs councillor now independent after expulsion from Labour Party over left alliance support

Aram vows to continue as an Independent after being expelled from the Labour Party

A popular Broadstairs district and town councillor will continue in his role as an independent after being expelled from the Labour Party.

Aram Rawf, who was elected to both councils in 2019, was ejected from the party at national level because he had received support from the Labour Left Alliance.

The alliance was proscribed – meaning Labour members are banned from supporting or having membership of the group – in March this year.

However, Cllr Rawf says the support he had from alliance members had been two years prior to the ban and the Labour Party had made no objection at the time.

Cllr Rawf says he was given the right to appeal but when he did there was no acknowledgement from the national Labour Party and its National Executive Committee (NEC).

It is understood two Labour candidates have been selected to stand in Beacon Ward, which is represented by Cllr Rawf, in the May 2023 local elections. Cllr Rawf says he will stand as an Independent.

Cllr Aram Rawf

In a statement about the expulsion Cllr Rawf said: “I am still a councillor proud to represent the interests of my Beacon Ward constituency and to do my best to assure good governance of Thanet District Council. My seat as councillor does not change because the Labour Party has lost my representation.

“Community has always been at the centre of my heartfelt principles. When I made Thanet my home I wanted to give as much to my community as I could. This was the community that made me feel welcome and came to my aid when I most needed it.

“In 2006 after living and working in the UK for almost six years, the Home Office decided to refuse my asylum claims and detained me. Twelve MPs, across parties, joined a local and national campaign to stop the Home Office sending me back to Iraq where I would have lost my life.

“I have always believed in social justice. I find volunteering in the local community is the best way to contribute towards bringing about that justice and I continue to do so.

“In 2014 I chose to join the Labour Party and I made the Labour Party my political home taking my involvement in the local community to a different level. In 2017 I stood as a candidate for the Cliftonville division in the Kent County Council election as a Labour candidate. I didn’t win but I did put the Leader of UKIP and Thanet District Council in third place and that was covered by local and national newspapers.

“In 2019, after the only Labour councillor on Broadstairs and St Peter’s Town Council and Thanet District Council decided to stand down, I decided to step in despite being told by the Labour Party that I had little hope of winning the seat,

“With the help of many friends and residents we mounted a good campaign. Even at the count the Labour Party believed I wouldn’t be elected but the residents chose me to represent them on both councils.

“In 2021, I stood on the Broadstairs Division as a Labour Candidate despite the Labour Party concentrating on the Ramsgate Division. They told me ‘we will not be campaigning in Broadstairs’ but the residents took the campaign in their hands. I didn’t win but I was the only Labour candidate in Kent to swing 10% of the votes to Labour.

“In August this year the Labour Party decided to terminate my membership because I accepted support from members of a left leaning organisation within the party.

“That support came to me more than two years before those members were proscribed by the Labour Party.  At the time of that support the Labour Party had made no objection to those active members.

“I am of course dismayed by the injustice of this although I still enjoy good relations with my Labour colleagues on council.  I am now an independent councillor on both councils. On Thanet District Council, I still sit with the Labour group to be able to continue to be a member of committees until the next local election. The residents will decide who will represent them not a political party. I’m still a councillor, I have not lost my seat although the Labour Party has lost me.”

Broadstairs councillor Aram Rawf was one of the volunteers helping to marshall at a vaccination clinic

Cllr Rawf arrived in the UK in 1999 as a 17-year-old after fleeing extremists in Iraq. In 2008 Aram was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK following one of the longest asylum cases to ever run in the country and in 2011 he became a British citizen.

Since then he has been a Labour Party Thanet councillor, a volunteer – including at the covid vaccination site in Westwood –  and a campaigner.

At Thanet council the change to independent means the council is now composed of 27 Conservative; 15 Labour; 6 Green and Independents; 5 Thanet Independents and 3 Independents.

The Labour Party has been contacted for comment.


  1. Oh my! Labour are losing voters under Starmer & Tories are dragging our country back to Victorian times. Both are a shambles. Let’s hope Greens come forward with some good policies for the people rather than the elite

  2. The Labour Party started the long decline when they allowed Momentum to grow within the party like an insidious cancer. They have destroyed local branches by systematically expelling long standing local members and installing their acolytes who slavishly follow the instructions from their masters in Finsbury Park. I am afraid that this is just another example of the abandonment of the democratic principles the Labour Party was founded on, it was always described as a road church and I am afraid it has become a single policy party and that seems to be get the Tories out with no real plan once that has been achieved.

  3. Cllr Rawf does not come across as an extremist. He was elected democratically and that is all that matters. This purge of socialists within Labour is the extremist element in all this. Some Left-leaning Jews have also been expelled for being anti-Semitic, would you believe it?
    Mike Harrison is following the current party line against Left socialists. He seems to forget how much his current leader was way up the rectum of Jeremy Corbyn and claiming Corbyn would make a great PM. Then he stabs him in the back and expels him from the party. More or less what has happened to Cllr Rawf.

  4. Cllr Rawf is precisely the kind of representative residents need, someone who is committed to the area and prepared to go the ‘extra mile’ for the good of those whom he has been elected to serve. His actions are all he needs to be judged on, less said about LP the better, this is their loss!

    • I agree. Personally I think local councillors should be elected on merit and concern for where they live not political party allegiance.

  5. You simply couldn’t make this up! A democratic socialist party has fallen into the hands of a right wing maniac who wants to expel anyone who finds common ground with left leaning organisations. What next? I guess starmer’s enforcers are getting ready to retrospectively proscribe groups like Amnesty International and Help the Aged if they don’t align with his agenda; and it won’t be long before members get expelled instantly for questioning Saint Tony’s stance on the Iraq war.

  6. Aram is one of the most committed and conscientious councillors currently elected to TDC. As a Labour cllr myself, I have to say is an embarrassment and a disgrace really to expel a member for accepting support from groups that were NOT proscribed at the time – and then offering the chance to appeal but not even acknowledging the application to do so.

  7. The Labour Party has been crushing the will of the now past majority of it’s members since the 80’s.

    The Labour Party deliberately sabotaged the Party by undermining Corbyn behind the scenes.
    The Labour elite have done more damage to Labour than the Tories.

    I am surprised Aram survived this long, he certainly may have scored a stay of execution schmoozing with the appalling Boris Johnson, but his raison d’etre has been with the support of the Socialists in Labour otherwise he wouldn’t be a Councillor at all. Indeed the kindness of his socialist comrades ensured that he had somewhere to live for all the years he was waiting for his case to be decided. He was useful to wheel out on the terrible refugee crisis that continues.

    There are now a lot of Independents, former Labour Councillors in Thanet who still go through the TDC Portals of illusion and deception and make decisions, allegedly, when most of Thanet has been asset stripped and the Council is so cash strapped that it can’t wash its face.

    As for you Mike Harrison with your record of homophobia, mysogyny, charity theft, and ballsing-up the Port of Ramsgate, I am surprised you still think it safe to air any opinion you may have.

    • Surely anyone should be allowed to air their opinions, as this is the bedrock of a truly democratic society, which includes free speech as a basic inalienable right.

  8. I hope the Labour Party get a bloody nose on this when he stands for reelection.
    Let’s hope the electorate are reminded enough that they vote for an individual and not a party.
    I don’t live in Beacon ward, but I’d vote for Arum and not the party if I did so.

  9. Enough of these political parties that can no longer represent the people. Voting for Cllr Rauf would send a clear signal to the anti-Socialist Keir Starmer.
    If only we could get rid of these rotten parties and have a more representative system of good and honest men and women.
    The party system is not democratic. They represent separate vested interests that can never unify a nation. After all, democracy means rule by all the people. Not rule by party.

  10. Cancelled my Labour Party Membership last year because of stories like this. They don’t represent anything worth voting for anymore. Starmer and his cronies are scum

  11. In 1997 I was living in Folkestone, and there was a sizable amount of Labour councillors, within a few years they didn’t have breeding pair! All down to one T Blair, who once elected, after 18 years of Tory misrule, said he intended to continue with Tory economic policies, and who later became a war criminal by, ironically, invading Iraq! I am not a member of any political party, and certainly won’t be voting Labour at the next local election! Labour nationally, and locally have yet again lost their way, and this remarkable young many is desperately needed as a TDC Councillor, so give him all the support possible!

    • That should read “Remarkable young man”, in fact he is far more than that, he has sincere scruples, is honest, and principled, which cannot be said for his Labour party colleagues, locally and nationally!

      • What a ridiculous comment.
        If you live in Kent – as I do – and don’t vote Tory – as I don’t – then Kent ISN’T Tory, is it?
        Just as I can’t speak for everyone, neither should you.
        Aram: in my humble opinion, it is the Labour Party’s great loss. In my humble opinion, you are fantastic and wish you every success as an Independent.

  12. He is a good counsellor, supported by a large number, regardless to what flag he flies under he is good man doing a good job. I will vote Labour at the next election as will millions of others with any sense to get rid of these evil greedy money grabbing corrupt devious ruinous Tories. They privatised anything and everything they said to “save taxpayers money “ lies lies lies. Then made a complete mess with Brexit and privatisation they are leaving shambles behind, utter wasters.

  13. Met Rarf, only the once. If your political leanings are not in line with his he is arrogant and judgemental. Not lets all work together for the betterment of Thanet.

    • I’ve never met him, so can’t comment. But back when I worked at the Winter Gardens [2007-2011], the Tories were always far more approachable and friendly to us minimum-wage hard-working staff than the “caring” socialists, with Roger Gale and Laura Sandys being particularly nice (since then, staff have told me that Nigel Farage was good fun). There were exceptions though, on both sides of the political divide.

  14. Clare
    Do you normally making things up as they go along?
    As it stated in the article cross party MPs supported my case and the campaign. For the comments that you maded up that “socialist comrade ensured he have somewhere to live” the person not wish to his/her name to be published not a socialist and never ever voted Labour or will do.
    Thank you to everyone’s kind words and all those residents and members of public that since yesterday evening have been sending me messages of offerings their support in next local elections.
    Power to the people.

    • I wonder what Cllr Aram Rawf thinks should be done about the refugee’s arriving by small boat. I also wonder which method he used to enter this country before claiming asylum. Also as a councillor i would of thought you would at least check your comment before posting.

  15. This is not “news” & happened a few months ago but Mr Rawf left it up to now before going public as Councils like TDC do not hold byelections in the last six months before the whole council comes up for reelection. So there was no risk of him being challenged to test his alleged popularity at the ballot box. He will likely get around fifty votes as an independent but could cost Labour a seat if it is a close contest. Labour selected two good longstanding community activists as candidates in Jenny Matterface and Joanne Bright, both of whom are busy fighting the development in Reading Street that will blight the area. It is the boring and hard slog to write submissions, gather evidence and consult everyone but they have been doing this for months. No sign of councilor Rawf in what is currently the biggest issue in our ward. Fun to see all the various pond life emerge to comment. Mike Harrison was rightly deselected for his homophobic abuse whilst a Councillor. He was subsequently tried in a criminal court and found guilty of misappropriation of funds from the largest community organisation in his ward. What weight anyone would attach to his opinions I cannot contemplate. Equally Mark Hopkinson was removed from being a Labour candidate due to his abysmal attendance record as a TDC Councillor and his sabotage of the Labour campaign in the KCC elections. Only in Thanet do you get persons chipping in where anywhere else they would have slunk away in shame!

    • Wow. If you’re a representation of the Labour Party member then I can only say, what a repellent & unkind cabal it is

    • Re: Mark Hopkinson – he chose not to stand. You’re talking utter cockrot as usual. Karen Constantine simp.

  16. I am very surprised at you, Keith . Were you not very close to Jeremy Corbyn? or do you no longer remember this?, even if your repeatedly told many people this?

  17. I was, and still am, fairly close to Jeremy and got his Xmas card in the post this morning. Known Jeremy since 1972. Jeremy has never been a member of any far left group and, like me, has always loyally supported every Labour candidate whether we totally approve of them or not. Sadly Aram Rawf has always associated with the far left splinter groups and has now paid the price. Not sure what Mark H is saying – he is clearly not a Jeremy supporter himself, that’s his prerogative, but why he is asking me about it is very strange!

    • Keir Starmer was very close to Jeremy Corbyn but stabbed him in the back at the first opportunity simply to further his own career.
      Starmer decided to expel all “anti-Semites”, meaning anyone who supported Palestinian rights. Jeremy Corbyn was one of them. The purge goes on.

    • Keith – you have got the wrong Hopkinson, I am afraid . I am no relation of Mark. Look at my name again
      I am certain that you are mistaken about Aram too

    • 30 Pieces of Silver!

      Keith Veness claims to be Jeremy Corbyn’s friend and yet as his “friend”, Keith Veness sold a story about Jeremy Corbyn to the author and Daily Mail journalist, Tom Bower. Bower’s hatchet-job book about Jeremy Corbyn was serialised in the Daily Mail (a Tory supporting Tabloid). It just goes to show what a nice man Jeremy Corbyn is, that he’s still is apparently in touch with Keith Veness. Because with friends like Keith Veness who needs enemies? It doesn’t surprise me at all to see what Keith Veness has written here, about Aram Rawf, who is a good and decent, very hardworking socialist ex-Labour Councillor. Veness and Rawf were supposed to be allies working on the same side against the Tories, but Veness has proven that he would rather attack socialists like Aram Rawf and Jeremy Corbyn than the Tories! This is because Keith Veness is NOT a socialist, he has just masqueraded as one. Veness is certainly not a friend to either Jeremy Corbyn or Aram Rawf and he’s proven himself to be deeply untrustworthy by selling a story about his “friend” to a known Tory Tabloid. Now, he’s trying to trash Aram Rawf’s reputation. Shame on you Keith Veness! Aram Rawf is a far far better man than you will ever be.

  18. Broadstairs seems to be a extreme left wing area I noticed over the years.Some locals are quite scary!! Unpatriotic, love dubious sexuality, not very English at all. The rainbow town

    • Get your terms right, Mr Lyndsell. It is Wokeism that now pervades the nation’s thoughts. No free speech at all.
      You are accused of various phobias or hate speech if you oppose the Woke agenda which involves the mind-numbing madness of gender-bender politics that Labour has adopted. Starmer could not describe a woman in fear of offending the trans mob who have infected the social fabric. He refused to do so when asked on TV.
      Men can wake up in the morning and decide to be a woman with all their male genitalia intact. This is madness. Eddy Izzard, the well known weirdo, recently said he now calls himself a woman on a permanent basis but clearly he is not.
      Starmer’s Labour has now adopted all this nonsense and, no doubt, you will be expelled for opposing it, labelled “transphobic” or some other made-up word.
      Broadstairs is probably now a cess-pit of Wokeism mixed up with a heavy dose of the extreme Left. Cllr Rauf, you are better out of it.

      • Robert Edwards. I totally agree with all you say. As you know locally it is not just Broadstairs, Ramsgate has become a haven in recent years of what you describe. I have never met Cllr Rauf and I suspect our views are poles apart but as you say he better off out of it especially with some of the self serving individuals who bend with the wind to advance their parliamentary ambitions.

  19. So this chap gain support from an anti semite, anti monarchy anti British orthodox left wing crazies. He sounds like the perfect fifth column nutter we need in Thanet!! Which idiots voted for this looney tune that isn’t even want by the main stream Labour Party because of there abhorrent views. Unbelievable!!

  20. Keith, I owe you an apology as I clearly misunderstood you . Please could you apologize to Councillor Hopkinson of Ramsgate, whose features are nothing like mine
    As you know I live in Broadstairs, and indeed live within walking distance of you

  21. This seems to be part of a huge purge going on inside the Labour Party. Anybody who has expressed opposition to Starmer gets “investigated”. There is a whole team devoted to this within Labour HQ. They tend to scour through Facebook and Twitter, looking for past comments and opinions. Once they find something that suggests that the member is unhappy with Starmer’s chosen direction, they leap into action.
    One recent victim was Naomi Idrissi-Wimborne, the only Jewish member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee. Elected by the Party members, she was almost instantly expelled by the “Starmer Stasi” for (you couldn’t make it up!) anti-semitism.
    From my experience, you can be expelled for criticism of Starmer, and you can also be expelled for criticising all these expulsions!!
    I am reminded of accounts of Stalin’s purges of the Russian Communist Party in the 1930s, albeit without the dire consequences! No-one knows who will be next ,or what they are alleged to have said on what policy. But, once a reliable and respected member falls foul of the “Starmer Stasi”, all the other members either keep quiet or actually convince themselves that the victim somehow deserved it. He “must” have been secretly worse than we thought etc. “Better off without him etc”. The Starmer/Stalin leadership know best! They must be doing it to “keep power” or “get elected”. Or “if we don’t get rid of these deviant members, the Tories will be re elected and that would be even worse!”
    And so it goes on.
    Our democracy is rigidly controlled. You have a “free choice” of, really, two Parties .Both are led from the top. Both basically see their role as protecting the establishment. The Tories protect the wealthy and don’t have much of a conscience about the effects on the less well off. Labour protect the wealthy but struggle to find ways of softening the blow on the rest of the population.
    So, you get an entirely free vote,don’t you?
    PS Don’t bother voting for anybody else. They will be written off by the media before they start. Just “also-rans!”
    It’s called “Guided Democracy”, an idea that was floated in Germany in the early 1960s. It’s working. So far.

    • If this is the way starmer treats his paid-up members, who have given lifelong voluntary service to their party’s cause, then I dread to think how he will treat members of the public if he ever gets any real power. At the moment, his only weapons are suspension, expulsion and dodgy accusations against people; but if he ever becomes a national dictator then capital punishment could be revived at the blink of an eye and people like Priti Patel will seem like cuddly softies in comparison.

    • Has it ever occurred to you that ,having been convincingly rejected by the electorate in the last general election , the labour party is trying to turn itself into something that appeals to a broader church of voters?
      A labour party consisting of those very much to left of politics is not going to appeal enough to win a general election, it’s why Tony Blair was successful.
      Personally i’d be happy to see the labour party faithful portraid as those buying pieces of ex soviet tanks to be beaten into plough shares in their back garden, as it’d keep the loons away from the levers of power.
      Stamer and his like are just doing what’s needed to try and win an election, if they do then rest assured that the more left leaning will soon emerge from the shadows and wrest power to their cause. Then mostlikely be voted out again asap.

    • Ah. Bitchute.

      The website noted for “hosting far-right individuals, conspiracy theorists, and hate speech”

      Isn’t it a shame that, at this season of Peace on Earth, and Goodwill to all Mankind, there is a very small minority of people whose sense of self worth is so low that they are driven to wallow in the mire of this cesspit.

  22. Starmer seems to be following the Tony Blair line by waiting for the Tories to REALLY make a mess of things, with endless scandals and blunders. (I vaguely recall that there were more sex scandals in the Tory Party back in the day, whereas the money scandals tend to predominate now. Given Boris Johnson’s alleged inability to know how many children he has fathered, are sex scandals now redundant?)
    But, in the end, what was so successful about Tony Blair?
    Yes, he got elected three times in a row, but each time the Labour vote declined, especially in those “Red Wall” seats that were supposed to be Labour for ever.
    But ,surely, “success” should be measured in the extent to which he made positive changes that improved people’s lives and lasted into the following years.
    On that measurement, he didn’t do very much. His spending on education DID significantly improve our schools and expanded University education along with the rest of the developed world. But the spending on education has been wiped out by 12 years of Tory austerity, so it didn’t really outlast him.
    The expansion in University places HAS lasted under the Tories because it is popular with the better-off who are the most likely to benefit from it.
    But nothing else remains. He did not expand the provision of Social Housing after Thatcher started the sell-off of Council housing. And now we have a severe shortage of affordable homes. The railways are still privatised. So are the water and sewage industries, as well as energy companies. The buses are privatised. Blair did nothing to improve or reverse these trends. Instead, we end up subsidising these private companies to get them to provide a minimum of services that they were supposed to provide for us anyway. Private companies are supposed to be more efficient! It was clear during Blair’s years that that wasn’t true, but he did nothing to change it.
    In the end, Blair’s only true ,lasting legacy that we can see for certain, are the heaps of rubble, the corrupt politicians , and the appalling poverty that mark modern Iraq.
    Anything else he did left no trace after just a few years of Tory governments.
    So, yes, he got elected. But he squandered his power. And we are all the losers. And we will be losers again, if Starmer just repeats the process this time round. As he clearly states that he WILL.

  23. Just to note a few facts – nobody down here in Thanet / East Kent had any role in the expulsion of Rawf and no one was asked for any opinions for or against. It was a decision made by the Labour Party HQ and various persons here were simply informed of the outcome. I personally do not know what if any evidence they had. Rawf then announces his intention to stand as some sort of independent against the official Labour candidates. He then said he wished to appeal against the his expulsion but his announcement is an “auto exclusion” breach of the rules and he lost the right of appeal. I would have advised him of this but as usual he prefers to take the frankly barmy advice of small left wing sects rather than any persons with experience of the Labour movement rules. Sad but now the inevitable outcome.

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