Former hard left politician Derek “Degsy” Hatton has told Sky News he has been readmitted to the Labour Party.
The 71-year-old, a member of the Militant tendency that infiltrated Labour in the 1970s and 1980s, was expelled from the party in 1986 after being found in breach of their rules.
Mr Hatton was deputy leader of Liverpool City Council, which Militant took control of in 1983.
Under the Trotskyist group’s direction, the council set an illegal budget in 1985 – spending more than its income – in a stand against Margaret Thatcher’s government.
The council was also heavily criticised for sending redundancy notices by taxi to thousands of council workers, which it claimed was a negotiating tactic.
Then Labour leader Neil Kinnock attacked the “grotesque chaos” of the council’s actions in his party conference speech that year.
Mr Hatton began the process of rejoining Labour in September last year, when he praised the “powerful socialist leadership” of party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
At the time, a Labour source claimed Mr Hatton was not currently a member of the party.
But on Monday, Mr Hatton told Sky News’ chief political correspondent Jon Craig he was “delighted” to now be back in the Labour Party.
It follows reports his re-admittance was recently approved by a Labour Party panel.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on individual membership statuses.”
The news comes on the same day seven MPs quit Labour to form an independent group in protest at Mr Corbyn’s leadership on issues such as Brexit and antisemitism.
They called on other MPs to join with them against the “machine politics” of the “hard left” and “hard right”.
Labour MP Lucy Powell, who is remaining in the party, said the timing of Mr Hatton’s re-admittance to Labour “could not be worse”.
Her fellow Labour backbencher Stella Creasy told Sky News: “It absolutely beggars belief. I’m not going to pretend otherwise.
“There is clearly a challenge for all of us who are passionate about the Labour movement.”
She added: “What is a concern to people like myself – who have seen thousands of complaints put in about antisemitism – is to recognise how slow and laborious that process is and yet time has been made to deal with Mr Hatton’s case.”