Suffolk: MP David Ruffley accepts caution for assault

David Ruffley MP for Suffolk Magazine feature. David Ruffley MP for Suffolk Magazine feature.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
12:59 PM

A Suffolk MP’s grassroots supporters will take no action after he was given a police caution for assault.

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David Ruffley, a former shadow policing minister, was arrested in March after an altercation at a London flat, which reportedly involved his former partner, the Suffolk artist Wendy Drew.

Police confirmed a caution for common assault had been accepted by a 52-year-old, but the Bury St Edmunds MP has so far maintained his silence on the matter, and was not responding to emails and text messages yesterday.

But the MP was in parliament, and spoke at a regular Department for Work and Pensions question session in the House of Commons.

Andrew Speed, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association, 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.”

The national Conservative Party also drew a line under the case, and a spokesman said: “This matter was investigated by police and dealt with by them at the time.”

Mr Ruffley had previously confirmed he was dating artist Wendy Drew, who has a studio in his Suffolk constituency.

The widow, whose late husband was the property developer Peter Drew, is best-known for her portraits, but she also paints landscapes and seascapes around Suffolk.

The Bury St Edmunds MP miraculously survived an incident at London’s Victoria Station in 2010 with minor injuries when the train passed over him and he did not make contact with the live rail.

A colleague said last night that fellow MPs had seen the new relationship as a great influence and had given the MP a new purpose.

Mr Ruffley, who was seated next to Conservative colleague Nigel Mills on the green benches in the House of Commons chamber yesterday, questioned the work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith about stricter criteria for applications from foreign workers.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “On Saturday, March 15 at around 8.50pm police attended an address in Marsham Court, Pimlico, SW1, and arrested a 52-year-old man on suspicion of common assault.

“The man was taken to a central London police station. He has since accepted a caution for common assault.”

The Suffolk MP has been an outspoken critic of domestic violence and in 2007 he wrote to then Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter to ask what the force was doing to clampdown on domestic violence.

“We must do all we can to stamp out this despicable crime which can ruin lives and shatter families,” he said at the time.

Women’s groups claim Ruffley should now quit as MP. More here.

8 comments

  • Surely they have to back him whatever he's done, because if he goes we get a by election, and that's the last thing the Tories want, but would be fun for the rest of us.

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    Blackeye

    Friday, June 27, 2014

  • Absolutely disgusting excuse for a man. Not sure why people are demanding him be dropped by the Tories... he stands for everything Tories are about.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • What is interesting is that the Conservative Party condones a parliamentary representative committing a violent offence against another person. Surely his party membership should be withdrawn to show to all they they take domestic violence and crime seriously?

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    Tolkny O

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Domestic violence against a female partner. A real mans man and obviously just the sort of character needed to pass laws of the land.

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    norman hall

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Hmmm....a caution for common assault, and 23yr old with no previous convictions was given a six month prison sentence for stealing bottles of water worth £3.50 from Lidl during the riot in London in 2011 (no, he didn't break into the shop or cause any other damage). I don't condone the theft, but it does seem there's something amiss here.

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    angela

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Andrew Speed should be ashamed of himself. Domestic violence is totally unacceptable behaviour and this man - who would appear to be a hypocrite too - needs to be deselected now. No wonder people have lost faith in politicians and the mainstream political parties.

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    Simmo

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Well !, here we have yet another tory MP setting the 'standards and values' ?, and to add fuel to the fire the party are 'condoning' it ! by not punishing him or dare I say it 'sacking' him ?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Wonder why the Tories are known as "the nasty party'?...

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    Dave Allard's English Teecher

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

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