Northampton protest against Tory council leader Jonathan Nunn. Photo: Northampton SP
Northampton protest against Tory council leader Jonathan Nunn. Photo: Northampton SP

Katie Simpson, Northampton Socialist Party

Jonathan Nunn has been forced out of his position as West Northamptonshire Tory council leader, following more allegations of horrific domestic violence, a crime he was convicted of in 2004.

Five women have now come forward with harrowing allegations of further abuse by Nunn. A protest on 16 May had many angry residents demanding Nunn be stripped of his council position.

‘Personal matter’

Shockingly, in March, the council’s chief executive officer, Anna Earnshaw, stated: “The claims about domestic violence were a personal matter, and not for the council to investigate”. A number of placards at the demonstration made it clear that domestic violence is never a private matter. This is especially the case when an elected councillor used his position to shield himself from criticism.

Sexist and misogynistic ideas are built into the divisive and exploitative capitalist system that Tory politicians like Jonathan Nunn defend.

Nunn cynically launched a council campaign to tackle violence against women in 2022. For the survivors of domestic abuse, these revelations about Nunn only deepen distrust that these kind of institutions can keep them safe. It is even harder for women fleeing abuse to find somewhere safe to go, as the council tightens the priority housing criteria.


Refuges have been depleted in the region. Offices where women could go to report abuse have been closed.

Critically important services, like the Sunflower Centre, which support victims of domestic abuse, risk becoming overwhelmed due to limited funds. Drug and alcohol workers, like myself, find we’re becoming advocates for those coming into our service, including those experiencing domestic violence in the home.

The Labour Party nationally is reaping the benefits of the hatred for the Tory party. Yet, Labour councillors haven’t made any attempt to reopen lost services, or secure the future of those few still standing.

The Socialist Party and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaigners led the call for the council to adopt a needs-based, no-cuts budget. This budget was discussed and agreed by members of the community, and drawn up by our council candidates.

The budget included reopening and fully funding services that were previously closed in Northampton, which would include refuges. It also included a safety system for all pubs and clubs to provide either a safe room for people who have become at risk on a night out, or a mandatory call to a community support officer to ensure people who need help are able to return to a place of safety.

Tories lose seats

The Tories face losing some of their safest seats in Northamptonshire in the general election. But there’s no guarantee that those experiencing domestic abuse are going to be safer under a Labour government already promising “fiscal responsibility” over adequate funding of vital public services. We are going to have to get organised to fight for the services we need.

People made it very clear on this protest that they see domestic abuse as a council matter, and as a political matter. Ending sexism, misogyny, and violence means ending the capitalist system that those ideas are built into, and fighting for socialism.