Independent councillors Pat Cooper and Andy Stamp join Labour
Cllr Andy Stamp (left) and Cllr Pat Cooper (fourth from left) were both members of the Liberal Democrats.
Medway’s two independent councillors have joined Labour, the party has announced.
Pat Cooper and Andy Stamp both represent Gillingham North.
Cllr Stamp was previously deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats and stood for the party in Gillingham and Rainham at the 2005 and 2010 elections.
He left in 2010 after a bitter row with ex-colleagues Cathy Sutton and Maureen Ruparel, amid claims of bullying, harassment and misuse of power.
The pair were subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.
Cllr Cooper was also a member of the party for almost 20 years, but left after the Lib Dems went into coalition with the Conservatives three years ago.
Cllr Stamp said: “This is not a decision Pat or I have taken lightly, but we feel that the Medway Labour Group are standing up for local residents against the current backdrop of coalition government cuts.
Cllr Cooper added: “We are really pleased that Gillingham North will now have a united team of three Labour Councillors.
"Andy and I will still be here for the local community, campaigning on local issues and keeping residents updated with regular newsletters."
Labour leader Cllr Vince Maple said: “It is great to see two community activists like Andy and Pat join the team.
"I know they will continue to work hard for the residents of Gillingham North and I look forward to supporting them in fighting against the attacks on services for the community they represent.”
The news means Labour now has 17 councillors. The Conservatives have 35, while the Lib Dems have three.
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