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Ex-Labour election candidate defects to Tories

Rehman Chishti stood as a candidate at the 2005 General Election

Rehman Chishti stood as a candidate at the 2005 General Election

A YOUNG Medway Labour councillor has defected to the Conservative Party.

Cllr Rehman Chishti, 27, joined forces with the opposition and accepted a senior post as adviser on diversity and ethnic minorities to Conservative Party chairman and MP for Horsham, Francis Maude.

The ward councillor for Gillingham North, who stood against Mr Maude in the 2005 General Election, denied that his move was designed to secure the safe Conservative seat of Horsham in the next election.

Barrister Cllr Chishti insisted: "My decision to defect was motivated by principle and conviction - not ambition. I will remain a councillor for Gillingham but will become a member of the Conservative group.

"I don’t think that this is unethical because when people vote for a councillor they are not just voting for the party, they are voting for the person as well and I will continue to work hard for the people of Gillingham."

* For full story see Friday’s Medway Messenger.

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