07:21PM, Wednesday 13 March 2019
Slough’s MP Tan Dhesi has left his seat on Kent County Council (KCC) after he was criticised by a Conservative for continuing to serve there.
Mr Dhesi said in a statement that he will leave the county council ahead of the local Gravesham elections in May, meaning a KCC by-election can be held at the same time.
The Express previously reported that Slough Conservatives chairman and candidate for Slough’s Cippenham Green ward, Lee Pettman, said Mr Dhesi was sending ‘a bad message’ by having not relocated permanently to Slough.
Mr Dhesi said he stays with a relative in Slough and frequently moves between the town, London and Kent, where he served as county councillor for Northfleet and Gravesend West.
The MP said: “Given my significant and increased parliamentary duties, I have been in discussions over the last year with senior Labour colleagues in Gravesham and Kent about when would be the best time to step down.
“We were agreed that a stand alone election would not be ideal and therefore I agreed to continue my service until the next round of elections.
“As there are all-out borough council elections in Gravesham this May, this was identified as being the optimum time for me to handover my responsibilities to someone else, so that the KCC by-election could be held on the same day as the GBC (Gravesham Borough Council) election.
“I’m extremely grateful to the fine people of Northfleet and Gravesend West who elected me in 2017, given my previous decade-long record of service within Gravesham as a Mayor, councillor, charity Trustee and volunteer, school governor, etc, despite knowing that I was a parliamentary candidate for Slough.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve them over the last two years.”
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