Second Labour councillor defects to Breakthrough Party

Bury St Edmunds town councillor Katie Parker has defected from the Labour Party to Breakthrough, a new democratic socialist party which aims to fill the political vacuum on the left.

Mrs Parker, a 46-year-old councillor for St Olaves ward, says:

After being a staunch socialist my whole life and getting involved with local politics during the Jeremy Corbyn era, I have become incredibly jaded and cynical with all the mainstream political parties. I believe there is no alternative to a right-wing government any more. I lost my passion and no longer felt that I fit in with the Labour Party. I looked around at other groups but just concentrated on my council work- keeping the community at the heart of it all. This has worked, but I haven’t felt that same pride in who I represent as I did to begin with.

When I heard about the Breakthrough Party it was through a family member.  I began researching it and it felt like the socialist party I needed and believed in. I absolutely pride myself on my integrity and being real due to my own past, and I liked what I read.

Welcoming Katie to the Party, Breakthrough leader Alex Mays says:

As soon as I spoke to Katie I immediately knew that she’d fit right in at Breakthrough. She’s an incredibly passionate, working class woman who got into politics for all the right reasons, to support her community and to make the lives of the people there better. If we had 650 people like Katie in Westminster, the country would be a much better place!

Katie grew up on a council estate in Ipswich and struggled with drug addiction in her teens, leading to a life of crime, prison and drug-related health issues.

But when she went to rehab in 2004, she learned that there was another way to live. She began volunteering, training, went to university and stabilised her life, building a career working in local drugs services and rehabilitation centres.

I’ve learned that a big part of addiction is needing to belong and feeling part of a community is a huge part of this. I’ve started baby banks, fed children during school holidays, helped residents during the Covid crisis, helped bring the community together and a lot more in my two and a half years as a councillor.

My passion for this has never waned. But I want change and to build something different, and I believe that the Breakthrough Party can do this.

Katie Parker, Bury St Edmunds town councillor

Katie is Breakthrough’s second councillor, following Samantha Cooper’s defection from the Labour Party in Keighley back in August.