Published: 17:39, 12 January 2018
| Updated: 17:43, 12 January 2018
Kelly Tolhurst MP has stepped down from her role as a local councillor following her appointment as government whip.
The Conservative Rochester and Strood MP announced her resignation as Rochester West councillor today.
In a statement, she said: "While I am extremely honoured to have been asked to join the Prime Minister’s team as a Government Whip, I accept that after discussions with colleagues and residents it is clear I am unable to carry on with my role as a local authority councillor without conflict.
"This has meant that, with the heaviest of hearts, I have notified the local Conservative Party and Chief Executive of Medway Council of my resignation as councillor for Rochester West.
"I came in to politics to represent and make a difference to the place where I was born and where I have lived all my life, and to make a difference to the lives of the people that live here.
"Working solely as the Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood, I now have the opportunity to represent the whole of the constituency at the highest level.
"I believe that this decision is without doubt the best thing for both the constituency and the ward of Rochester West."
Ms Tolhurst, who has been a councillor since 2011, said she will work closely with the association to support whoever is selected to fight for the ward.
She added: "I have loved my time as a Medway councillor, working alongside fellow Conservative colleagues, and I am proud of what I have been able to achieve in this role.
"I am now looking forward to taking up my new role and making sure that the needs and wants of our constituency are heard across Government during the challenges ahead, while also continuing to support the local Conservative Party as best I can."