Election 2017: Ipswich MP Gummer writing Tory manifesto for 2017 General Election
PUBLISHED: 11:43 23 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:23 24 April 2017
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer’s role as one of the rising stars of Tory party politics has been confirmed as he has been given the crucial job of writing his party’s election manifesto.
As Cabinet Office minister he is working with two of the Prime Minister’s key advisers to draw up the manifesto which will lay down the party’s policies for the next five years.
His appointment as a keen European and a party moderniser could concern some on the right-wing of the party, but he has emerged as a key figure in the government since his surprise promotion by Mrs May after she moved into Number Ten.
Mr Gummer said: “It is an honour to work on government policy and especially to be able to put 10 years of campaigning in Ipswich, talking to people in their own homes and across the town, to wider use.”
He was not able to say anything more about the manifesto which is supposed to be a closely-guarded secret until it is published.
However there is speculation that some of the more significant elements of the 2015 manifesto like the triple-lock on pensions guaranteeing they rise significantly, and promises not to increase some taxes could be replaced by general pledges to ensure the economy is as successful as possible.
Mr Gummer’s role has prompted further speculation that he could be in line for another significant promotion if the Conservatives are re-elected.
Among those cabinet ministers thought to be vulnerable are Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Education Secretary Justine Greening.
Mr Gummer has experience of working within both of these departments before he took on his current role in July last year.
But first he will have to see off a Labour challenge in his own Ipswich seat which he holds with a majority of only 3,733.
It is high on the list of seats that Labour is hoping to win to increase its position in the House of Commons and the party should have a candidate in place to fight Mr Gummer by the start of next week.
Mr Gummer’s high profile within the party and the government means that the battle in Ipswich is likely to have a national dimension, with high-profile visits from leading figures in both Conservative and Labour camps expected over the next few weeks.