Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

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

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

Gritting teams in Suffolk have completed 100 runs. Picture: Simon Parker

Gritting teams in Suffolk have treated enough miles of road to travel around the world more than four times.

Police at the scene of the stabbing close to Wherstead Road in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Shocked neighbours have tonight expressed their fear and concern after a man was stabbed in Ipswich.

Suffolk Constabulary actually received 1,865 abandoned 999 calls in 2016 (stock image)

Suffolk Constabulary has apologised after it provided wildly incorrect data about how many abandoned 999 calls it has received.

Peter and Sylvia Stuart. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Fingerprints taken from a man arrested on suspicion of murdering Weybread couple Peter and Sylvia Stuart were found on a car which had the couple’s DNA in it, it has been alleged.

Lola, a pet cat from Ipswich who has had her ears cut off. Picture: RSPCA

Police and the RSPCA are urging residents to come forward after a cat was found near her home with both ears cut.

Baroness Murphy of Aldgate

An East Anglian peer has warned advocates of a second European Union referendum that they are “playing with fire”.

Launch of Suffolk Armed Forces Weekend at Felixstowe - members of the team orgainsing the event gathered on the seafront after a meeting to look at the latest programme for the event being staged on June 24-25

A Suffolk seaside town is to hold a double celebration with a military theme this summer – a two-day spectacle of music, battle re-enactments, food and fireworks for all ages to enjoy.

Dean Stansby pictured with his former partner Haley Phair and their son Rocky, five. Picture: Brendan Taylor at Taylor Made Portraits

The heartbroken family of a father-of-five who was killed near Ipswich railway station have paid tribute to him.

Elvis Fair leaving Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: Archant

A Suffolk hairdressing salon owner gave hundreds of pounds to an alleged conman she met on a dating website after he offered to help her with her financial affairs, a court has heard.

Beacon House, in Ipswich, where the inquest took place.

A 21-year-old woman who collapsed at a mental health hospital in Suffolk died of natural causes, an inquest has ruled.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24