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Bury St Edmunds: MP David Ruffley ‘should quit now’ say women’s groups

PUBLISHED: 14:28 25 June 2014 | UPDATED: 14:28 25 June 2014

David Ruffley MP for Suffolk Magazine feature.

David Ruffley MP for Suffolk Magazine feature.

Archant

Groups fighting to protect the rights of women last night called for a Suffolk MP to stand down after he was given a caution for assault.

David Ruffley, who represents Bury St Edmunds, was arrested in March after an incident at a London flat reportedly involving his former partner Wendy Drew.

The former shadow policing minister has been backed by his local Conservative association but yesterday maintained his silence on the matter – despite renewed attempts by the EADT to make contact.

Now domestic abuse charity Lighthouse Women’s Aid and women’s rights campaign group, the Fawcett Society, called for the former shadow policing minister, to step down.

A statement released by the Fawcett Society’s Bury St Edmunds branch said they were “shocked” and demanded the incident was “treated with the utmost seriousness”.

The statement also urged for the local Conservative association to “call a motion for a vote of no confidence, with the intention of the deselection of David Ruffley as the Conservative candidate for the General Election in 2015”.

Sally Winston, chief executive of Ipswich-based charity Lighthouse, said: “Just because it’s someone in a position of high importance it doesn’t make them immune from accepting the consequences of their actions. I think if this is true he needs to consider his position.”

Mr Ruffley has been a critic of domestic violence in the past.

Mrs Winston also said she was disappointed with how the police had dealt with the matter.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The Met takes a ‘positive action’ approach to all incidents of domestic abuse recognising the impact this crime has to victims and their families.

“When a crime has been alleged in such circumstances, officers have a number of factors to consider with the presumption towards the arrest of suspect.

“Officers always consider the most appropriate and effective course of action.”

Despite a phone call and email Andrew Speed, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association, could not be contacted by the EADT last night.

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Ipswich Town Hall is preparing for its 150th birthday with a major celebration at the end of the month.

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Organisations in a Suffolk town are teaming up to tidy litter from their streets and help preserve the environment.

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