Legal action threat issued in long-running dispute between Labour councillor and isle blogger

Ian Driver and Karen Constantine

A Thanet district and Kent county councillor has threatened to take legal action against isle blogger Ian Driver.

Karen Constantine says she wants an end to Mr Driver’s “brutal and personal campaign against her and her family.”

The Ramsgate councillor says she has been the focus of “more than 25 libellous blogs in the past two years”. She has now sought legal advice and says she has reported the blogs to the police several times.

However, Mr Driver says he stands by his articles and the evidence used for them and is willing to see Cllr Constantine in court.

The row centres on the blogs which have included pieces on Cllr Constantine’s CV, the events leading up to the refusal of endorsement as parliamentary candidate for Labour’s Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt and the selling of Lush products to fund an election campaign.

Cllr Constantine said: “Mr Driver fails to point out that I beat him in two elections. I have drawn the conclusion that he a resentful loser. Instead of engaging in political discussion he uses personal attacks against me and my family. He is trying to undermine democracy by smearing me just prior to Labour selecting their candidate this Sunday to fight the General Election. He is anti Labour and not behaving as a socialist or trade unionist. I also wonder why he has chosen to target a female politician.

“I am prepared to accept an apology and for him to remove his untruthful blogs. If he persists I shall take firm legal action. The police are aware and I will leave it in their hands to bring charges.

“No one should have to put up with this level hostility. All of us in public life have a responsibility to challenge and report it wherever it occurs.”

Cllr Constantine says she is willing to meet Mr Driver to go through his claims but denies any wrong doing.

But Mr Driver says he had made previous offers to meet which were rebuffed so he will not take up the offer. He also made a counter claim of bullying and said if Cllr Constantine wants to pursue legal action he will see her in court.

He added: “Everything I have written about Karen Constantine is based upon hard evidence, much of which came from her own postings on social media and reliable evidence which can all be corroborated.

“Any opinions I have expressed about her are fair comment based upon this evidence. Much of what I have published about Karen Constantine is one to two years old and she has never complained about it until now. During this two year period, I have publicly offered Constantine every opportunity to contact me and point out any untruths and inaccuracies in my articles about her which I would remove if proved to be true.

“She has never done so once, nor has her lawyer. Despite her complaining to the police several times I have never been contacted by them, which leads me to believe that they do not think I have committed any offence. I am however happy cooperate with any investigation they may launch.”

Thanet Green Party, which Mr Driver has recently rejoined, has issued a statement following the most recent blog posting.

Speaking for the Green Party, Trisha Austin Hartley said: “We would like to offer Cllr Karen Constantine our support. We are appalled by Ian Driver’s latest blog. We immediately took it down from our Facebook page where he’d posted it and we messaged him saying why. He’s recently rejoined the Green Party. Please be assured that he doesn’t speak for us.”

Mr Driver said: “Like anyone else the Green Party is entitled to express its opinion about my blog and I am very pleased they read it. I stand by all the articles I have written about Karen Constantine. I believe them to be truthful and fair comment and I will not be removing them.”


  1. Mr Driver has previous experience of being in court.
    He would be well advised to seek Counsel before defending this libel case.
    His blog is awash with the most appalling material for all to see.
    Were he to lose the case, he would be liable not only for damages (considerable given that Ms Constantine is standing as a parliamentary candidate), but for Ms Constantine’s costs, too.

    • Awash like pugwash or is the truth hurting people.
      I have reported all the council to the police… Let the truth run out!
      Labour got us into debt… With lies and secrets.

  2. The problem for Mr Driver is not that Ms Constantine has to prove him wrong, he has to prove he’s right.
    I’m not sure why Ms Constantine says she is going to leave it to the police. Libel is a civil, not a criminal matter.

    • It’s a threat
      Labour are bullies
      I’ve been to meetings
      Where an ex councillor said push him down the stairs he was then deputy of the council
      I will stand out for the truth
      Not bullies or lies

  3. This is typical behaviour from Ian Driver- launching highly personal attacks on rivals or people in public life and then protesting when anyone dares stand up to him. I note that he has re-joined the Green Party. They will soon realise they are being used by him- he has a long history of joining political party after political party, both in Thanet and previously in London, and then leaving when he falls out with the other members. Ultimately, all he cares about is publicity for himself.

    • Its beyond me why the Thanet Green Party allowed him to re-join! Didn’t he once campaign to re-open Manston, against Green Party policy? This sounds like opportunism, and hypocrisy to me, do the Green really want him in their party, I think they should take a long hard look at his latest antics!

  4. The Lush scandal should have been enough to disbar Constantine from public office. If something isn’t true, she can make it clear, not just create a smokescreen of vague outrage.

    • Andy I am with you
      Maybe she has a lush job of bullying driver to the limit
      When labour can own up about offshore leaks with ramsgate seafront… I have the evidence to put you all in jail at tdc.

  5. Disgusting attack on a woman who is just trying to serve her community. I hope this man who has written this appalling attack on Karen Constantine is not involved in any way with other potential candidates in the same selection process

  6. Everyone knows Ms Karen ‘Lush’ Constantine has a problem, as does Ian Driver. They are both and hostile people ‘in the Public eye’ and both should learn to behave accordingly.

  7. Ms Constantine is not a “charity embezzler”.
    I wouldn’t like to pass an opinion about Mr Driver’s on line activities.

  8. Having read one of Mr Driver’s blog posts, I thought it was spurious, spiteful material. It presented no actual evidence of any wrong doing on the part of Cllr Constantine and seemed to rely on speculation and rumour. He seems to have developed a very unhealthy attitude towards Cllr Constantine and her family and I would say he is best ignored. I feel very sorry for The Green Party as I have no doubt he will go on to cause misery and mayhem for them.

    • 24 blogs about the same person in two years sounds obsessive to me. And Shelley is right, the tone is spiteful – so spiteful that it’s hard to believe that Mr. Driver simply wants to tell the public about what he claims are repeated wrongdoings by that person.

  9. Driver really is only interested in self publicity. His narcissistic and rarely accurate blog simply make accusations again those he has chosen to have a personal issue with.

    He as already lost a court case against TDC, but simply likes to showboat to gain attention.

    He was appalling enough when he was a cllr, but when he lost out in the last election, being completely rejected by the electorate, he became even MORE bitter and twisted than he was before.

    It’s high time that someone held this nasty little little man to account for his actions, and I for one wholly support Ms Constantine in bringing any kind of legal action, and I genuinely hope that she wins, and is awarded a sum in compensation high enough as to finally make Driver end his anti Thanet campaign once and for all.

    • I hope it doesn’t come to that. Ian Driver’s family home already has a claim against it because Mr Driver can’t pay back the costs awarded against him after his last foray in the courts. Any penalty he incurs after a court case will impact on his wife and children, too.
      I hope he come to his senses, meets with Ms Constantine, and settles out of court.
      It’d be quite good if he abandoned his blog, too. It’s a tirade of vented spleen mixed in with hysterical conspiracy theories.

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