Published: 16:34, 16 November 2021
| Updated: 09:47, 17 November 2021
In the latest party defection to rock Maidstone Borough Council, Labour member Cllr Malcolm McKay has quit the Labour group.
He said he would sit as an Independent until May, when he is due for re-election.
Cllr McKay clarified his position: "I'm leaving the Labour group on the council, I am not leaving the Labour Party nor ceasing to be a supporter."
He would not be drawn on the reason for his resignation.
He said: "I will not be joining either of the two Independent groups on the council. I shall sit alone.
"When I was first elected, I was the only Labour councillor, so I'm quite used to being a lone voice."
Cllr McKay, who represents Shepway South, said he had not entirely made up his mind, but thought it unlikely that he would seek re-election next May.
Cllr Paul Harper, the leader of the Labour group on Maidstone council, said: "We have appreciated Malcolm's contribution, and his service over the past 7½ years as a Labour councillor, including previous periods as Leader of the Labour Group.
"We wish Malcolm well for the future, and the door remains open.
"If he should ever want to reconsider his decision, he would be welcomed back into the Labour Group and Labour Party family.
"The Labour Group remains committed to working for the wider Maidstone community and will continue to put people above politics as we go forward."
Last month, five Liberal Democrat councillors - including the party leader Cllr Martin Cox - quit the Lib Dems to set up their own Independent group called the Maidstone Group.
The breakdown of the council will now be:
Lib Dem 12
Independent Group 5
Maidstone Group 5