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Medway councillor Sam Craven quits Labour to become independent

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

A third Medway councillor has quit their party to become an independent in the space of six weeks – with Labour being the latest to be in the firing line.

Cllr Sam Craven, who represents the Luton and Wayfield ward, accused her former party of not doing enough to tackle bullying, saying she received treatment which could be seen as "ganging up against a woman".

She wrote: “When I got involved in politics, I was just a mum fighting to save her son’s school and I have always taken that approach since being elected.

Cllr Sam Cravenhas quit the Labour party
Cllr Sam Cravenhas quit the Labour party

“I am elected to help people so I have avoided the political game-playing that has turned so many people off politics.

“My values have not changed, but the party around me now seems to tolerate behaviour I find unacceptable and should not be shrugged off as political rough and tumble.

“There are serial offenders within the local party that no matter how many times they are spoken to, or investigated, keep on causing problems.

“I’m convinced it is only a matter of time before something serious happens that cannot be swept under the carpet and I do not want to be associated with it.”

She decided to finally quit the party due to “another broken promise” relating to a newsletter she was working on, but has vowed to continue as an independent councillor until next year’s election.

Medway Labour leader Cllr Vince Maple refused to be drawn on Cllr Craven's comments, referring the Local Democracy Reporting Service to a group statement reading simply: "We thank Cllr Craven for her service to the Labour Party."

Cllr Craven is the latest councillor in Medway to quit their party, with Cllr Mick Pendergast (formerly Ukip) and Cllr Anne-Claire Howard (formally Conservative) both becoming independents in recent times.

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