September 19 2014 Latest news:
Monday, July 28, 2014
An online petition calling on Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley to leave parliament has attracted tens of thousands of signatures.
The petition, published on the website www.change.org, is being addressed to the Conservative Party and follows the disclosure that the MP had been given a police caution for common assault following a domestic incident in London.
It has been put online by the organisation Ending Victimisation and Blame, which represents the victims of domestic abuse and campaigns to try to ensure their plight is taken seriously.
They say: “MPs are there to fight for the rights of some of the most vulnerable in society. They must be held to a high standard.
“Even the Dean of the local cathedral agrees and has written to say David Ruffley’s position in parliament is ‘untenable.’
“His local Conservative Party are meeting in the next week to discuss the issue. They must take a stand to show that domestic violence is never acceptable.
“However, we don’t simply want the Conservative Party to remove the party whip from Mr Ruffley or to deselect him. We want Mr Ruffley to resign from Parliament.”
By this evening the petition had attracted 37,000 names. Mr Ruffley was not available to comment on the petition.
Members of the executive of Mr Ruffley’s Conservative Association are preparing for a meeting on Thursday which will discuss the incident. He has been asked to attend.
Meanwhile an investigation into the incident by chief whip Michael Gove is continuing. A spokesman for the Conservative Party said there was no indication how long these investigations might take and it was not clear whether anyone from the whips’ office had yet spoken to Mr Ruffley.
However the EADT understands there have been several letters sent to Mr Gove’s office from Suffolk – both from members of the party and from other members of the public with an interest in the case.