A PROTESTER will stand for election on an anti-war mandate, only days after resigning as a Labour candidate.

Gordon Campbell-Thomas has promised to stand in the seat that would damage his former party the most.

Mr Campbell-Thomas burned his Labour Party membership card last week.

He said the decision was made after the war in Iraq started, but he had considered it since City of York Council gave planning permission for Coppergate II.

He said: "If you are a person who believes in certain things then you have to be prepared to stand up for it. I am not somebody who is going to be bought by party politics "Since I was selected as a Labour Party candidate for Westfield ward, I have been under immense pressure to curtail my activities on the Coppergate issues and I was considering, if I have this much pressure prior to being elected, would I have any freedom at all when I became a councillor?

"The reason I got involved in politics was because I have certain beliefs and I wanted to do something for the local community. The York Labour Party's stand on Coppergate, and the national party's stand on Iraq, meant I couldn't be a member any more."

Mr Campbell-Thomas, who has stood in three local elections in York in the past, has until April 1 to get his nomination papers in.

He said: "I'll be standing as an independent candidate who will put residents first. I don't think either the Tories or Labour have any credibility because they both voted for war without a UN mandate."

He is urging similarly-minded people to follow his example.

David Ellis, chairman of the York Labour group, said: "We respect Gordon's, and other members', feelings about the situation in Iraq and I know that it's causing a lot of people great concern.

"I think that Gordon's problem is that he finds it difficult to accept that politics is about being a part of a team and that he will not always get his own way. I feel that it's a shame he has chosen this issue not to just demonstrate his feelings about the war, but to try and damage colleagues he has worked with for years."