Home   Thanet   News   Article

Thanet council leader Iris Johnston donated to Save Manston Airport group

The leader of Thanet council has brushed aside calls for her to quit after she revealed she had made small donations to Manston Airport supporters groups.

Iris Johnston said that she had given "no more than a maximum of £25" to the Save Manston Airport group to help meet the costs of hiring halls to hold meetings in.

Green councillor Ian Driver said she should stand aside as leader because it created the impression that she might be seen to be acting unfairly on a "complex and extremely serious issue."

Members of the Save Manston Airport campaign group
Members of the Save Manston Airport campaign group

But Mrs Johnston shrugged aside the complaint, saying it had been "small beer" and she had taken advice from the authority's monitoring officer about whether she should declare the money.

She said there had been two donations - one at a meeting at The Winter Gardens in Margate, when the campaign group held one of its first meetings.

"They passed a bucket around and did a collection to help meet the costs. The second was when there was a meeting at Newington Green and they did a collection and a whip round with a bucket. It was small beer."

Manston Airport
Manston Airport

In a statement issued by Cllr Driver, he said: "This is an extremely sensitive subject which is of great public interest and which needs to be handled with the utmost care."

He added that he had asked the authority's standards committee to investigate and had made a formal complaint.

Mrs Johnston declared that she had made personal financial donations to the group at last night's full council meeting, which saw a mass walk out by opposition councillors.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More