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POLITICS: Tory Nick de Wiggondene jumps to Lib Dem group

Friday 9th October 2020

CONSIDERED one of the more ardent right-wingers in the local Conservative fraternity, Nick de Wiggondene has made a surprising switch to the Liberal Democrats, the ruling party on Maidstone Borough Council.

Cllr de Wiggondene, who represents Detling and Thurnham, resigned the whip in August after it appeared the Conservatives might move towards supporting a large development scheme for 1,700 houses at Binbury Park which he is vehemently opposed to.

He argued that the land at Detling lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty and should be protected.

There is little advantage long-term to the Lib Dems as Cllr de Wiggondene will move to Surrey to run The Bell pub in Outwood, near Redhill, with his partner Steve.

Cllr de Wiggondene said: “On a local level, I’ve agreed with much of what the Lib Dems stand for. The way things are at the moment, we can’t have a by-election but I’ll look after the ward until next year.”

He warned the Binbury proposal could shape the election result and “all bets might be off”.

A Tory party source said: "He's making a point on the way out. The chances are we'll be able to win it back next May, all being well.”