Shock resignation of district councillor for Newington

Karen Constantine has resigned as a district councillor

A district councillor for Ramsgate has resigned her seat.

The sudden resignation of Karen Constantine, who was elected to the Newington ward seat at last year’s May elections, was made at the beginning of a full council meeting tonight (February 6) by authority chairman Cllr Jason Savage.

Cllr Constantine was not present at the meeting.

No reason has been given for the step down although Cllr Constantine, who appears to still be a member at county council, confirmed she no longer represents the ward at district level.

Cllr Constantine has been involved with a campaign for increased mental health services in Thanet and is also a backer of a Judicial Review case against plans to relocate Thanet’s acute stroke service to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

However, there has also been a fissure within the local party, evident during the campaign by Cllr Constantine to run as a parliamentary candidate for South Thanet. The attempt was eventually taken on by Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt who was defeated at the election in December by Conservative Craig Mackinlay.

There has also been a long-running dispute over blogs by former councillor Ian Driver 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 previously told The Isle of Thanet News that she had sought legal advice over the blogs and had reported the publications to the police several times.

Cllr Constantine has been asked for a statement about the resignation.

The vacancy is likely to result in a by election for the seat.