March 8 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron has thrown his weight behind South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo’s bid to be re-selected to stand in 2015 just days after the ballot papers went out.
In a letter to Mr Yeo, his boss hailed his “expertise in rural issues and the environment”, which he said had been of very real benefit to the party and the country.
He said it would be “great loss” to Mr Yeo’s constituents, to parliament and the Conservative Party if the vote does not go Mr Yeo’s way.
It comes after previous letters from the Chancellor and the Education Secretary were given to the press by Mr Yeo, angering some of the party executive who voted to de-select him.
They have alleged that Mr Yeo is not playing by the rules of the election, which say the executive should not make any representations, and the MP is allowed to send out a single A4 sheet which is distributed with the election ballots - a charge Mr Yeo denies.
Long-standing committee member Simon Barrett, who is also deputy chairman of Babergh District Council’s strategy committee, wrote a piece for the Daily Mail last week setting out his opposition to Mr Yeo, after the incumbent MP made his letters of support public.
The executive decided to de-select Mr Yeo last year, but under the rules of the Conservative Party an MP can put his position to the whole of the party, which Mr Yeo did.
In his letter Mr Cameron said: “You have served your constituency of South Suffolk for over three decades - a record of which you can be enormously proud. I very much hope you will be selected to stand as the Conservative representative for this seat again, so that you can fight to continue representing your constituents in the next parliament as you have always done in the past with tenacity and commitment.
“Your considerable expertise in rural issues and the environment has been of real benefit to our party and our country.
“You have always provided a strong voice for the people of Suffolk and it would be a great loss to your constituents, to parliament, and to the Conservative Party if the South Suffolk Conservative Association did not re-select you so that you can continue providing that steadfast representation.”