A long-serving councillor has defected from his party after he claims it failed to select him as a candidate for next year’s local elections.
Cllr Ian Jenkins has served as a Conservative councillor on Rother District Council since 2003.
But following the party’s decision not to select him to stand in the 2019 election, Cllr Jenkins has now joined the Association of Independents.
Cllr Jenkins, who represents the Rother Levels Ward, said: “My decision, after much thought and consideration, was in part brought about as a result of my not being selected as a Conservative candidate for the 2019 district council elections, despite having served the Rother Levels Ward for the last eight years.”
During his time on the council, Cllr Jenkins has served as chairman of the council between 2013 and 2014 and was chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee between 2014 and 2017.
He was a Cabinet member between 2003 and 2012, and again between 2017-2018.
He currently serves as spokesperson for RDC’s Strategic Infrastructure Projects 2018.
Cllr Doug Oliver, leader of the Association of Independents, welcomed Cllr Jenkins to the group.
Cllr Oliver, who represents Bexhill Collington, said: “We are delighted Ian has joined the Independents and I think his intention is to stand as an Independent in May.
“We are delighted because he brings a lot of strength and experience to our group and will be a great asset to us as we prepare candidates across Rother for next year.
“He’s a decent chap with a lot of experience.”
Conservative councillor Carl Maynard, the leader of Rother District Council, said: “Councillor Ian Jenkins, like all other Conservative candidates for next year’s district election, took part in a competitive selection process. He wanted a particular seat. He was unsuccessful in securing that particular seat and so chose to leave the Conservative Party on that basis.”