A Lib Dem defection to the Green Party has boosted the chances of Maidstone electing its first Green Councillor. The 2012 Lib Dem candidate for Fant Ward in Maidstone, Irene Shepherd, has defected to the Green Party and is supporting Stuart Jeffery to be elected in Fant Ward.
Irene cited the Lib Dem failure to protect the environment as the primary cause of her dissatisfaction with the Lib Dems. Stuart was just 8% from winning the seat last time in 2012 and the Conservatives have been tweeting that the race is between Blue and Green in the Ward.
Irene Shepherd: "I am really pleased to have found a party that really cares about the environment and is prepared to do what it takes to protect it. I have been hugely impressed by Caroline Lucas's stand against fracking that has landed her in court and thoroughly disappointed by the Lib Dems backing of it. Fracking is likely to come to parts of Maidstone soon and we must do all we can to stop it. I was also very disappointed over their u-turn regarding nuclear power, an issue that the Greens have consistently opposed.
"I have been very impressed by the local Green Party, their real environmental principles and their leadership to stop the proposed housing on Fant Farm's grade 1 agricultural land. I am really keen to support Stuart's fight to win Fant Ward where he is the front runner in the race."
Stuart Jeffery, Green candidate for Fant Ward: "I am really pleased to welcome Irene to the Green Party! It is very clear that the Lib Dems try to claim environmental principles but they are backing fracking, airport expansion, road expansion and nuclear power - none of which are in anyway green. I'm sure Irene will be an asset to us."