I now hear that there has been some unhappiness that Labour have put out a leaflet announcing that Joe has decided to "retire" from the council after many years of service. This airbrushing of history has not met with universal approval within Labour ranks where the rumblings of civil war over the leadership of the Labour group can be heard.
I am informed that those who pushed for Joe's deselection were underwhelmed by his not-overly-enthusiastic backing for the embattled and weakened Mick Henry who needed firmer support in his own backyard.
We are told that Mick's future is on a knife-edge. One or two deselections or seats changing hands could tip the balance. Will Joe's "retirement" be enough to keep Mick and the Labour "A Team" in power or will other changes elsewhere allow in the "B Team"? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Gateshead Labour Bust Up!