A ROGUE Labour councillor was branded a "marxist" after he announced he would be opposing his own party's budget in protest of government cuts.
Aaron Kiely, ward councillor for Ockendon, was given a round of applause by Labour colleagues on Wednesday night as he delivered a scathing attack on the Conservative government during a debate on the council's budget for the next year.
This was the second year in a row that Mr Kiely, 21, who is also Black Students Officer for the National Union of Students, decided to vote against the council's budget.
In a speech, he told the Conservatives that they had "not been standing up for Thurrock's residents" as they have been "standing up for [David] Cameron and [George] Osbourne".
He said: "The rich get tax cuts and the rest of us get service cuts. 27 Anglican bishops attacked your party last week for creating widespread hardship and hunger.
"That is also the situation in Thurrock where the hardest hit, are the poor and the old people.
"That is absolutely shameful.
"Your party has created a crisis both nationally and in Thurrock but the Tory group smugly turn up at council meetings as if your party is not responsible for making us all worse off."
Mike Revel, a veteran Conservative councilllor for Orsett: "I've been hugely entertained by the marxist view of life. We have to remember that the last Labour government left us debt."
Mr Kiely has a notoriously bad record of attending council meetings. This year, he has attended 50 per cent of full council meetings.
Lynn Carr, a Conservative councillor for Ockendon asked if Mr Kiely would be giving back his £7000 allowances. She said: "I suggest he does the moral, proper thing and give his allowances back to the people of Thurrock as both Cllr [Barry] Johnson and myself have worked tirelessly to help the residents he should be supporting."
This is not the first time Mr Kiely has hit the headlines.
A Gazette probe in November 2012 found Kiely had not made a single call on his council mobile phone in six months - and he had been cancelling surgeries with residents in Ockendon, the ward he serves.
The controversial councillor has also landed himself in hot water on a number of occasions over comments made on Twitter. In October 2012, he appeared to tweet in support of radical cleric Abu Hamza.
The council eventually agreed its budget on Wednesday night, which includes a council tax freeze for the next year.