A VETERAN councillor has resigned from the Labour Party after being accused of failing to knock on constituents’ doors, despite suffering a broken shoulder.

Teresa Page, who represents Penhill and Upper Stratton, now stands as an independent following her sudden break with the party after 35 years.

She also accused Labour’s national leadership of adopting an “unpatriotic and anti-semitic stance” and suggested that criticism of the Corbyn leadership within the Swindon Labour Group is strictly off limits.

“If you make it known that you are not happy with the national leadership, you shoot yourself in the back, not just the foot,” she said.

Explaining her decision to resign, Coun Page said that, last year, she received a letter from Labour saying that, in 2016, she had not completed her fair share of door knocking sessions and that, as a result, “it was doubtful that I would be allowed to stand in 2019”.

But she claimed to have been suffering with a broken shoulder at the time and was thus unable to knock on residents’ doors. This explanation, according to Coun Page, was not good enough for the party.

“I decided that I wasn’t going to wait around to be told that I wasn’t welcome anymore, so I resigned of my own accord,” she said.

But despite being unable to campaign, Coun Page said: “I am proud to say that during that period I never once stopped working for my residents. It is a sad day when the door knocking comes before serving the people.”

Her decision to resign was made easier, she said, by her experiences during this month’s local election and developments in the national Labour Party.

She said: “As a member of the traditional, moderate wing of Labour, I feel I cannot support the extreme left wing unpatriotic and anti-semitic stance taken by our national leadership.”

When asked if she thought the Corbyn leadership the principle reason that Labour failed to take a single ward off the Conservatives in May’s election, she replied: “I believe so.”

In response, Jim Grant, leader of the Swindon Labour Group, paid tribute to Coun Page’s record, saying she had been “a fantastic mayor and a true stalwart for the Labour Party”.

But, he added: “I don’t subscribe to any notion that Teresa has been treated differently to any other Labour councillor. We all have our obligations and we know the best way to serve our constituents is to get a Labour council in Swindon. However, it is important to stress that it was Teresa’s decision to resign.”

Defending Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, he said: “It’s difficult to believe that the party’s national leadership had a negative effect on our vote in Penhill and Upper Stratton as we just won the largest number of votes in that ward in a local election than we have done in years.”