Labour councillors in Milton Keynes City Council have claimed they have been silenced by party leaders over their colleague’s “damaging” exit from the party.

Dr Shery Delfani spoke of a “toxic” culture within the Milton Keynes South Constituency Labour Party as she announced she was quitting the party last month.

The former councillor also claimed she had “suffered persistent and systematic discrimination, bullying and unfair treatment”.

Following her exit, remaining Milton Keynes Labour councillors have claimed they have been banned from discussing Dr Delfani’s exit from Labour on WhatsApp and Facebook by the local party’s top brass.

In messages seen by the BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service, the anonymous councillors claim they have been silenced by the Labour Leader of Milton Keynes City Council Peter Marland and Emily Darlington, the Labour parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes South.

One Labour councillor was asked whether Cllr Marland had advised councillors not to comment on Dr Delfani’s resignation.

READ MORE: Labour councillor quits party over ‘toxic’ culture

They replied: “It was mentioned. And it was mentioned to not engage with the post.”

Another Labour councillor wrote to Dr Delfani: “Our group is not happy with you on WhatsApp. There are some comments about, ‘why did you go to press?’

“Emily commented on WhatsApp how much damage you have done to the MK Labour Party. Pete texted back and told everyone not to discuss this.

“Pete advised everyone not to comment, including on Facebook.”

In her resignation statement, Dr Delfani spoke of being disillusioned with politics after her experience in the Labour Party and said she would use her “skills and passion” to serve the community in a different way.

She said: “Today I am certain that I do not feel able to continue being part of a toxic local party and that is marred by a lack of compassion and suffers from a culture of incompetence locally and nationally.

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“I have made formal complaints with the hope that my voice can be heard but nothing has changed.”

Since then, other former Labour councillors in Milton Keynes said they could identify with some of the reasons Dr Delfani cited for leaving the party.

One said: “All I can say is, this sounds very familiar. I have been there and have seen others go through the same kind of stuff.

Another added: “I can’t be bothered with the party. The party is not the same locally anymore.”

Dr Delfani remains an Independent parish councillor for West Bletchley Council where she represents Fairways Ward.

Cllr Marland declined to comment. Cllr Darlington has been approached for comment.