Bexley’s only independent councillor has been restricted from sitting on any committees in a move he described as “pathetic political posturing”.

Councillor Danny Hackett, who joined Labour when he was still taking his GCSEs, quit the party in February to join the first wave of local politicians replicating MPs in The Independent Group in Westminster.

The Thamesmead East representative – who stood for Parliament in 2016 against communities secretary James Brokenshire – said it was an “agonising” decision to leave.

The councillor, who is the only independent member in Bexley Council, had sat on the planning committee for Labour.

At a full council meeting last night however, an amendment was passed to committee structures meaning Cllr Hackett is without a seat at any meeting other than full councils.

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Under legislation used by the council, it takes two or more councillors to make up a group and get committee spots.

Cllr Hackett said last night he was disappointed his residents would have less of a voice in the chamber.

He said: “The proposals before us only go to cement what I knew, some people will stop at nothing to use the institutions of the council to score cheap political points. It is pathetic political posturing.

“A consensus could have been reached as it has been in the past to ensure a councillor outside the two main parties could have been given a space. I’m disappointed it hasn’t happened.

“In my opinion, all the while committee allocations are at the control of group leaders and chief whips, the residents we represent are being dealt a great disservice.

“I knew life outside the political machine wasn’t going to be straightforward, but let me be clear this isn’t just about me and what committees I sit on – it’s about the residents I represent, in this chamber I am their voice. I’m here to represent them.”

Cllr Hackett can attend full councils, annual councils and budget councils – meetings he said were simply “stage managed political events”.

“As an independent, or any sole member of a party, it becomes very difficult to be an effective voice for residents in this chamber”.

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Councillor David Leaf, the council’s cabinet member for resources, argued Cllr Hackett could still stand up for his residents.

Cllr David Leaf said: “Cllr Hackett gave an eloquent resignation speech and members have a lot of sympathy for some of the abuse he’s been subject to on social media. Leaving a group is never an easy decision to make.

“The legislation is specific that it requires appointments to committees to be made pro-rata to the balance of political parties – Cllr Hackett is not a party in himself so he doesn’t have the allocation groups are afforded.

“However as a member of the council he is entitled to table questions or motions at meetings like this, he has the right to stand up and speak for his residents as and when he feels the need to do so.

“At other committees I am sure chairmen exercise the discretion for members to speak and ask questions.”