In a closely-fought by election following the shock death of Council leader Mark Worrall earlier this year, Sophie Shrubsole won a super victory in West Malling and Leybourne on Thursday.
Winning 769 votes, super Sophie convincingly held off Labour candidate Kathleen Garlick (123 votes), Lib Dem Yvonne Smyth (472 votes), Ukip’s Peter Stevens (127), English Democrats’ Michael Walters (57) and Howard Porter from the Green Party (43) to become Tonbridge and Malling's newest councillor. Turnout on the day, including postal votes, was 34.82 per cent.
Born and bred in Leybourne, local girl Sophie takes over the seat from Mark Worrall who had represented West Malling and Leybourne on Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council for 30 years and was leader of the council from 1985 to 1995 and again from 2003 until his death. Mark was widely recognised as one of the best council leaders in the country.