Two Sandwell councillors have been expelled from the Labour Party only hours before a crunch meeting that will decide who runs the strife torn authority.
Cllrs Julie Webb and Bill Cherrington both received emails today (Monday) saying they have been stripped of their membership – preventing them voting on who is elected as the political leader of the group and the council.
Last week, Cllr Caroline White was told she was no longer a member because she was alleged to have campaigned for an opposition candidate, David Hosell, in the recent election.
Cllr White said what she had been accused of amounted to holding a ladder so Mr Hosell did not fall as he put up campaign posters.
Cllrs Webb and Cherrington are believed to have been expelled because they posted good luck messages on Mr Hosell’s Facebook page.
Labour rules state any member who supports or campaigns for a political opponent is deemed to have excluded themselves from the party.
The expulsions could affect tonight’s crucial vote on who is chosen to lead the party and the council over the next 12 months.
It is rumoured five councillors are vying for the post which will chosen on an alternative vote to ensure the winner has more than 50 percent of the votes.
The Labour Party has been contacted for comment.