Andrew Cann’t get away from politics

A YEAR ago the then Liberal Democrat leader at Ipswich Council, Andrew Cann, told me that he was standing down from the borough and was probably going to give up local politics altogether.

He would see out his remaining term as a county councillor in the St Margaret’s/Westgate division – but was unlikely to stand again in 2013.

I must confess I was slightly suspicious.

Mr Cann has politics coursing through his veins. He comes from probably the most political family in Ipswich – the only family to challenge that claim would be the Gummers – and I found it difficult to believe he could just walk away from a subject that had been such a big part of his life.

So I wasn’t exactly surprised when he told me this week that he’s had a bit of a re-think. He’s standing for the LibDems again, this time in the St Margaret’s Ward, defending the seat that is being vacated with Richard Atkins standing down.

Until last May he was group leader and a member of the executive at the borough. Of course with Labour set to retain power at Grafton House, he won’t be back on the top committee.

But if he holds the seat, I certainly wouldn’t bet against him regaining the leadership of the group which is expected to be only four-strong after the election.

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The LibDems would do very well to hang on to its Alexandra Ward seat where they lost heavily last year.

Of course the LibDems know that winning St Margaret’s is not a done deal. They lost the seat to the Tories in last May’s council elections although they did win it back in November’s by-election.

He’ll be up against former Conservative councillor Stephen Ion in what is likely to be the most lively election campaign in the town come the end of April/early May.

Labour knows St Margaret’s is a lost cause, but I suspect they aren’t too sorry to see the Clash of the Titans that may develop there.

While the Tories and LibDems are slugging it out on the streets around Christchurch Park Labour will be looking to mop up seats in Stoke Park, Whitton, St John’s and Alexandra.

And something tells me that once the parties reveal their candidates for the county council seats this time next year, the name of Andrew Cann will once again appear on the list.

He may be in a different party – but Andrew Cann is as steeped in politics as his father!

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