Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Suffolk: Grassroots Conservatives set to discuss future of MP Ruffley

PUBLISHED: 15:50 26 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:50 26 June 2014

David Ruffley

David Ruffley

Archant

Senior members of the Bury St Edmunds’ Conservative Association are expected to hold meetings over the next few weeks about reports that MP David Ruffley has been given a police caution for common assault.

It emerged last weekend that Mr Ruffley had received the caution from the Metropolitan Police in March following an incident allegedly involving his then partner Wendy Drew at a London flat.

Earlier this week the chairman of the Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association, Andrew Speed, said it would not be taking any action after reports about the incident emerged. He said: “We are sure it has been a very difficult time for both of them.

“But the incident in March was dealt with by the police at the time and no further action was required.”

His statement has led to concern among senior party members who feel that it gives the wrong signal.

Simple cautions cannot be offered to an offender who has not admitted that they are guilty of the offence or who has raised a defence, and cannot be given to an offender who does not agree to accept the caution.

They were also concerned that they did not know about the incident on March 15 until details emerged last weekend – pointing out that the incident happened at the same time as Mr Ruffley was being formally re-adopted to fight the seat at next year’s general election.

They are now preparing to call an extraordinary general meeting to discuss the issue with Mr Ruffley.

One member said: “At the very least he needs to give us a full explanation and apologise.” Another said it was a “very difficult situation” and that the incident needed to be taken “very seriously”.

The concern within the Conservative Party emerged after Lighthouse Women’s Aid and the Fawcett Society both called on the MP to stand down, as reported in the East Anglian Daily Times yesterday.

The Conservative Party does have a mechanism to re-open a selection contest if a local association is petitioned by a significant number of members.

There is no suggestion that such a move is imminent, but senior party members are keen for the issue to be discussed – and with a general election due in less than 11 months they are keen to get the matter resolved.

Police have arrested a man in connection with an incident that took place at Sailmakers shopping centre in Ipswich this morning.

Fewer Suffolk teenagers are getting pregnant than ever before, data reveals.

Engineers worked through the night to restore power to households across Suffolk and north Essex after the region was battered by winds of over 70mph.

Commuters using Greater Anglia trains in Suffolk and Essex are facing further disruption after the region’s rail network was brought to its knees by yesterday’s storm.

A show celebrating the career of the most successful folk rock duos of all time is coming to the Ipswich Regent.

After nine months of, for no particular reason, referring to our unborn first child as “he” (“how’s he doing in there?” etc), it came to me to make the big reveal to my wife in the moments immediately after the birth, writes Elliot Furniss, from Ipswich.

Emergency services are at the scene of a crash in a north Essex village this morning.

A community group is hoping a “miracle” will help it save affordable flats in a Suffolk town – after members were given just four months to raise £275,000.

Staff at Kleeneze in Ipswich have thanked the generosity of its customers after Christmas gift donations for children’s charity Barnardo’s totalled more than £2,000 – it’s biggest year yet.

The mother of a selfless Suffolk fundraiser is continuing her daughter’s fight to persuade women and girls to have smear tests in her honour.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24