Medway councillor resigns over conflict of interest

The winner of a council by-election in Kent has resigned just 13 days after being elected.

David Craggs, a special constable, stood down from Medway Council after being told by Kent Police his political appointment was a conflict of interest.

Mr Craggs, who was elected to represent Medway's River ward, said he checked before standing for election and had been given the all-clear.

His Conservative colleagues said his resignation was unnecessary.

'Unbelievable' situation

Mr Craggs, who has been a volunteer police officer for 17 years, said: "Prior to standing for election, I checked with advice published by Medway Council, Kent Police and the NPIA (National Police Improvement Agency)...

"The advice I was given at the time was that there was no such conflict and therefore I stood for election."

Councillor Craig Mackinlay, who also represents the River ward, said there were no regulations preventing special constables from serving on the council and said he knew of three who are serving MPs.

He added: "This means that another election may need to be held because Kent Police got the law wrong. The situation is virtually unbelievable."

A Kent Police spokesman said: "We recognise the decision David Craggs has made.

"It is very important that policing is politically impartial and seen to be impartial, and we are pleased that Mr Craggs will now be able to continue to serve the community in his role as a special constable."

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