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Beaver Ward by-election: Ukip steals labour seat in Ashford

By Vicky Castle

Ukip have stormed to victory in Ashford after winning a by-election.

Beaver Ward was one of Labour's few remaining strongholds but the party failed to keep the seat.

Ukip candidate Ryan Macpherson was elected last night with 42.1% of the vote.

Ryan Macpherson takes the Beaver Ward seat for Ukip
Ryan Macpherson takes the Beaver Ward seat for Ukip

The security consultant and former Special Constable for the police said he will be focusing on law and order.

The contest was triggered after previous ward councillor Jill Britcher stood down due to health reasons and moving to Thanet.

She also resigned from the Labour Party, citing her disappointment at the 'abysmal' leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Caroline Harris stepped in for the party but failed to win the seat, achieving just 27.4% of the vote.

Beaver Ward is served by two councillors, with Ukip Cllr Beverley Murphy already holding the other seat.

In total, 890 votes were cast – a turnout of just 21.3%.

Jill Britcher, labour, stepped down earlier this year
Jill Britcher, labour, stepped down earlier this year

For the full story and reaction see next week's Kentish Express.

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