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Marden anti-housing campaigner Claudine Russell joins Tories for May elections

Monday 22nd February 2021

ANTI-housing campaigner Claudine Russell is to stand for the Conservatives at the borough council elections on May 6.

Mrs Russell, who led the successful crusade to prevent 2,000 homes being built in Marden, has decided to join the Tories to take advantage of the party machinery.

The farmer has stepped aside from the chairmanship of the Marden Planning Opposition Group (MPOG).

She said: "I have always been conservative with a small 'c' but now I have decided to make it a capital 'C'."

Mrs Russell said that she joined the Tories after much "soul-searching" and could be able to take advantage of the party's election machinery, particularly as door to door campaigning is banned.

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Mrs Russell will contest the Marden and Yalding ward left vacant by the resignation last year for personal reasons of Tory stalwart Steve McLoughlin. Last time round, Cllr McLoughlin chalked up 47% of the votes, despite a strong UKIP vote.

The Conservatives must win the seat if they have any chance of removing from office the Liberal Democrats and Labour, who run Maidstone Borough Council.

Husband Tristan will step in to chair the MPOG. The couple are pictured here.

PHOTO: Chris Lawson