Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Cathedral dean turns up the heat on under-fire MP David Ruffley

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 July 2014

Dean Frances Ward of Bury St Edmunds Cathedral.

Dean Frances Ward of Bury St Edmunds Cathedral.

The Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral has written to local MP David Ruffley calling on him to consider his position as calls mount for his resignation.

And his local Conservative association has brought forward a meeting of its executive at the end of this month in the wake of the revelation he had been given a police caution for common assault.

The Very Rev Frances Ward has written to Mr Ruffley saying that he has lost the confidence of many of his supporters in Bury St Edmunds and that he should consider his position.

She copied the letter to council leaders, new government chief whip Michael Gove, senior police figures, and political heavyweights.

Mr Ruffley, who has declined to comment about the incident, was given the caution by the Metropolitan Police after officers were called to a flat in Pimlico on March 15.

The police would only confirm that a 52-year-old was given a police caution for common assault after what they described as a “domestic incident”. It is understood that the victim was Mr Ruffley’s then partner, Bury St Edmunds artist Wendy Drew.

Dr Ward is a close friend of Mrs Drew.

Meanwhile the Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association executive has brought forward its regular meeting planned for September 9 to July 31.

They have written to Mr Ruffley “requesting” that he attend. Association chairman Andrew Speed said it was always planned that Mr Ruffley would be at September’s meeting and that there would be other matters on the agenda.

“This is not an ‘emergency’ meeting. I’m sure members will want to ask David about the incident – but we have other matters to deal with including how we will fight next year’s election and appointing an agent,” he added.

There is also a belief among senior local Tories that the mood has changed at Westminster with Mr Gove and his team – which includes Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey – taking a tough stance on party discipline.

However senior Conservatives in Suffolk remain worried about the apparent lack of concern shown by officials of their party, both locally and nationally, about the issue of domestic violence which lies at the heart of the issues surrounding Mr Ruffley.

Senior Conservative councillor Joanna Spicer, who is chair of the county’s health and wellbeing board, said: “I suppose I can understand why the Conservative Party, both nationally and in Bury St Edmunds, has chosen to protect David Ruffley from the consequences of his police caution.

“However, I am totally bewildered and disappointed that both nationally and locally the Conservative Party remains silent on the issues surrounding domestic violence.

“The Government published an excellent ‘Call for Action’ on domestic violence only two years ago and has recently revised the action plan.

“Their silence leads many people, including Conservative supporters, to conclude that they condone domestic violence.”

4 comments

  • Speed needs to get his skates on and give a vote of no confidence or they lose our four votes

    Report this comment

    Realalelover

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

  • Perhaps ruffley could get Bury St Edmunds police to confirm he's never been involved in any domestic altercation in the town.

    Report this comment

    James Lakin

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

  • think the church needs to sort out its own problems before entering politics.

    Report this comment

    david peters

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

  • Slow Speed talks about planning for next year's election. I hope he means this year's.

    Report this comment

    Blackeye

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The partner of a shopkeeper at Cloud Nine in Ipswich was grabbed by the throat and dragged upstairs during an attempted robbery, it has been alleged.

Suffolk doctors say their “radical” scheme to reduce spending on prescriptions has pioneered the way for nationwide proposals announced today.

It may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, but patients of the future will be able get medical advice from a digital doctor with Artificial Intelligence.

An Ipswich doctors’ surgery ranked inadequate by a health watchdog in December is improving, a new report claims.

Four new bundles of joy have surprised a goat-farming family in Bures St Mary – and we’re not kidding!

Government officials are hoping to halt an invasion of Asian hornets by encouraging the public to use a free smart phone app.

An Ipswich drink-driver who was nearly three times the limit when he crashed into a telegraph pole after a night out has lost his licence.

A Suffolk nurse has been sanctioned after a health regulator found she put vulnerable patients at risk of serious harm.

A firm under investigation in Norfolk for the “shocking” state of accommodation it housed teenagers in has been awarded a £3.5m contract by Suffolk County Council to look after asylum seeking children.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24