Medway Council is set for it’s first by-election in several years, following the resignation of Cllr Catriona Brown-Reckless.
Cllr Brown-Reckless was elected to represent Strood South as a UKIP councillor last year, and was deputy leader of the UKIP group on the council.
As such, a by-election will now need to be held to fill the vacancy in the ward, on a date to be decided in the near future.
It also means that the UKIP group on Medway Council has now been reduced from 4 to 2 since their election last year, with Cllr Brown-Reckless’ resignation following Cllr Joy’s decision to sit as an independent.
Strood South has been a split ward for some time now, with Conservative, Labour, and UKIP councillors all representing the ward in recent years, so a fierce by-election battle looks likely for the vacant seat.
After months of flirting with the electorate, we now have a formal list of candidates for Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, as published today.
The formal list of candidates nominated:
Henry Bolton (UKIP)
Dave Naghi (Liberal Democrat)
Tristan Osborne (Labour)
Gurvinder Sandher (Independent)
Matthew Scott (Conservative)
Steve Uncles (English Democrat)
We’ll be looking at each of the candidates in more detail between now and the election.
In the meantime, it’s time to say goodbye to the following declared candidates that didn’t make it onto the ballot paper:
Fergus Wilson (Independent) seemingly didn’t submit his nomination papers properly, so wasn’t allowed to stand. It was unlikely he’d be able to take up the position regardless following his assault conviction.
Tim Garbutt (Independent Green) discovered last week that the £5000 deposit required to stand was quite a lot of money.
The Green Party declared that they would be standing a candidate, but one never made it onto the ballot paper.
With current commissioner Ann Barnes not standing again, we now know that one of the six names above will be Kent’s next Police and Crime Commissioner.
Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham Rehman Chishti has breached parliamentary rules, the Sun reports.
The paper reports that Chishti received multiple hospitality tickets – worth £900 – to see Gillingham Football Club, but despite being obliged to report such gifts within 28 days, didn’t do so for over a year:
The Member of Parliament for Gillingham and Rainham got a £100 VIP ticket to the Priestfield Stadium to watch League One “Gills” in February 2015.
And another in May and August that year, and further three hospitality tickets in September that year — all as a guest of club boss Paul Scally.
However — in a breach of the rules — the freebies were not logged in the Commons registers until this month.
Mr Chishti refused to comment or explain the delay.
It’s unclear to what action Chishti may face for this error, but that he’s declining to comment or even explain why he didn’t declare the tickets is troubling.
Perhaps more interestingly though is the news within the article that Chishti has secured a new job, earning £24,000 working for a think tank in Saudi Arabia:
The rule breach came as Mr Chishti announced he has secured a plum £24,000 advisory role with the King Faisal Center for Research — a think tank in Saudi Arabia.
The appointment came after Mr Chishti enjoyed on a £2,888 all expenses paid trip as a guest of the controversial Middle Eastern kingdom last month.
It’s unclear exactly how spare time Chishti has for his new role, as he is both the MP for Gillingham Rainham and a local councillor for Rainham Central. He might need to cut back on some of those football matches.