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Maidstone Borough Council by-election: Ukip John Barned wins Shepway South ward

Ukip has held its seat in a Maidstone Borough Council by-election.

Candidate John Barned took 45% of the vote to take the Shepway South ward last night.

The election was triggered by the tragic death of cllr Dave Sargeant, who suffered a heart attack in May leaving a casual vacancy.

Cllr John Barned
Cllr John Barned
Maidstone Borough Council election. Stock image
Maidstone Borough Council election. Stock image

The 77-year-old had been the first member of Ukip to be elected to the council in 2014 and became leader of the group.

He has been succeeded by cllr Barned, a former Conservative Maidstone Borough Councillor for Harrietsham and Lenham Ward who defected from the party in 2015, citing the council's high housing targets as one of the reasons for the move.

Cllr Dave Sargeant
Cllr Dave Sargeant

He had lost his seat the previous year to Ukip's Eddie Powell.

Mr Barned was a housing officer for Maidstone and Ashford councils for 20 years before his retirement.

He had previously had a long career in Fleet Street, working for the Daily Telegraph, The Sun and the London Evening News.

Results for the Shepway South by-election were as follows:

John Raymond Barned - UKIP - 432 votes

Milden Halyungu Choongo - Liberal Democrats - 41 votes

Jon Hicks - Independent - 88 votes

Bob Hinder - The Conservative Party - 215 votes

Dan Wilkinson - Labour - 183 votes

Turnout: 21.8%

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