OUSTED Merseytravel chairman Mark Dowd stands to lose more than £56,000 a year in allowances after being deselected by his own constituency party.
The shock weekend vote, which has forced one of the region's most powerful politicians to stand down from his position, will not only be a political but a serious financial blow to him.
The former train driver currently receives £45,350 a year in allowances over and above his standard £11,000 as a Sefton councillor.
It also emerged yesterday that the deselection was the culmination of a long-running feud between Coun Dowd and his fellow Labour ward councillor John Rice.
Each of the councillors has made official complaints about the other over the past year.
A row had erupted as long ago as September 2002 over a leaked e-mail.
A constituent's complaint about the management of the Bedford Road Community Centre, sent from Coun Rice to Sefton leisure services director Graham Baylis, and copied to Coun Dowd, found its way into the inbox of the centre's management board.
Coun Rice made a complaint to the Standards Board for England - the local government watchdog - about Coun Dowd's conduct. Coun Dowd then made a complaint to the Labour Party about Coun Rice, allegedly for not contacting him before making his complaint.
The feud has escalated ever since, leading to the crunch selection meeting on Friday night.
A letter from Coun Rice to the Derby ward branch Labour Party, seen by the Daily Post, says: "To put things into context it would be fair to say that the relationship between my two colleagues Councillors Mark and Peter Dowd and I have at no point been cordial throughout my period of office, and that I have never received any support or co-operation off neither (sic) throughout the last three-and-a-half years."
Coun Dowd currently receives £21,150 a year as chairman of Merseytravel, £7,800 as chair of the policy and resources committee, £3,900 for chairing the rail services committee, £3,400 as deputy chair of the Merseytram committee and £3,900 for chairing the Mersey Tunnel Bills committee.
Added to his basic allowance of £4,700 for every Merseytravel member and £11,000 standard allowance for a Sefton councillor, Coun Dowd stands to lose £56,350 a year.
Sefton Labour Party is still examining the vote to see if it broke Labour Party rules. A senior party source said last night that party bosses were continuing to investigate the legality of the move with the view to an appeal.
But Dave Martin, Labour leader of Sefton Council said: "This is an internal matter which is being investigated by the Labour Party."
Last night, Coun Dowd was still unwilling to comment on the matter.
Merseytravel also declined to comment on the possible impact Coun Dowd's departure could have on their operations.
A spokesman said: "As far as we are concerned, it is a political matter."
LIB-DEMS DUMP FORMER MAYOR AFTER 22 YEARS
A FORMER Lord Mayor of Liverpool has been dumped by the Liberal Democrat party and will not be allowed to defend the seat he has represented for 22 years at the next local elections.
Coun Gerry Scott, who represents Grassendale ward in south Liverpool, was the most high-profile casualty of selection meetings over the weekend.
He served as Lord Mayor with distinction in 2001/2002.
Liverpool is to be reduced from 33 to 30 council wards and the south of the city is particularly affected, with seven wards effectively becoming five.
Others who failed to win re-selection included Allerton ward councillor John Clucas, whose wife Flo is Liverpool's cabinet member for housing and Valley ward councillor Frank O'Donoghue.
Speaking to the Daily Post last night, Coun Scott, 70, said: "It's true I will not be allowed to stand for Cressington which is what the new ward will be called. I was very upset and hurt by the way it was done.
"It is disappointing and upsetting when you think that I originally won the ward for the party and then served for 22 years as ward councillor.
"I have served as Lord Mayor and deputy Lord Mayor and I've always only wanted to help the residents of Grassendale.
"I must have been doing something right to remain as councillor for such a long time.
"I have already had calls from councillors from both parties expressing their regrets."
One senior Liberal Democrat councillor last night told the Daily Post he believed the selections were an example of party leader Mike Storey trying to strengthen his grip on the party.
He said: "There is going to be a lot of fall-out over this and some councillors are very angry.
"What the three councillors not re-selected have in common is that they were not really in the Mike Storey camp and this is being viewed very much in those terms."
Coun Storey could not be reached for comment last night.