After her dramatic decision to leave the Labour Group on Pembrokeshire County Council, Cllr Sue Perkins has tonight issued the following statement:

"After the election last May I was asked by the new Leader of the Council, Jamie Adams, to join his cabinet. Safeguarding of our children is the top priority for the council and it was felt my years of experience in children’s services would help the council move forward in particularly challenging circumstances.

"The Labour Group agreed this, the decision was endorsed by Labour’s National Executive Committee and I began my new job. We discussed this again at a group meeting last week and whilst it was agreed that I was doing extremely effective work, the group leader was clear that he wanted me to stop doing my safeguarding job. "This would also involve me stopping doing anti poverty work on behalf of the council executive at a time when Tory welfare cuts are really hitting hard.

"I have made the decision to stay in my safeguarding and children's services role and anti poverty role and to leave the Labour Group.this has not been an easy decision having been a member for sixteen years.

"I apologise to every voter who supported me in last year’s election thinking I would be a member of the Labour group for the whole of the five year term. I can assure those voters, and indeed the whole of Pembrokeshire, that I always have been and always will be Labour.

"But when faced with the decision between leaving the cabinet and staying to look after the safety of our children, I am afraid I have been left with no choice. Our children have to come first."