A former Conservative county councillor representing Ramsgate who admitted making social media posts branded as Islamophobic is listed as standing in the district council elections as an Independent candidate.
Paul Messenger was suspended from the Tory Party last month pending an investigation over the posts,
The investigation meant he was no longer eligible to stand in the May local elections for the party. But election lists published by Thanet council today (April 3) show him as an independent candidate for the Sir Moses Montefiore ward in Ramsgate,
Cllr Messenger has confirmed he resigned from the Conservative Party on April 1.
Initially Cllr Messenger said he “expressly denied” writing the posts but later he made a U Turn and admitted they were his.
He issued an apology however there were calls for his expulsion from the Tory party and he was publicly condemned by Conservative county council leader Paul Carter.
Labour county councillor Karen Constantine said he should ‘consider his suitability for office.”
Cllr Messenger remains at county council as an Independent.
He said: “I’m standing as an independent in Sir Moses Montefiore Ward because I believe I have duty to my constituents to put forward real Conservative principles and to promote open and honest local government.
“I do not believe hard-earned taxpayers money should ever be squandered on loss-making activities or that the public purse should ever be used to subsidise enterprises which are plainly commercially unviable. But, instead of looking at all options for the port to find a sensible and credible way to stem the projected losses, TDC is about to commit itself to subsidising another loss-making enterprise at enormous cost to the council taxpayers of this district.
“To date I have been thwarted in my attempts to promote the MDL ltd option and as an elected Independent member I will pursue this development opportunity with vigour. The industrialisation of the port makes no commercial sense and will damage tourism in the area forever.
“It would also rule out all hope of a Maritime Village Development. More importantly, this proposal would “future proof” losses on the port for years to come and result in further, avoidable £3 million cuts to TDC core services by 2023.
“So, with a heavy heart I resigned from the Conservative Party as I believe I have a duty to fight these financially crazy proposals in any way I can. Not least because I believe the first question any councillor should ask is this : does this proposed business deal pass diligence and compliance and will it benefit my constituents?
“Unfortunately, TDC still seems to think this is the last question anyone should ask. Turning specifically to the ward of Sir Moses Montefiore, I want to ensure King George VI Park has better TDC maintenance than it enjoys at the moment. I want to ensure Dumpton area in general receives its fair share of highways issues.
“I want look at speeding incidents along Dumpton Park Drive and see what can be done to encourage safer driving speeds there. Road and path cleanliness in Dumpton needs better TDC attention.
“If elected I want to support the initiative of a plastic free coastline. I will continue to support aviation returning to Manston. I will support maintaining and improving NHS medical services for the area.”