Ex-MP in comeback bid

TEN years after losing his seat in Westminster, former Ipswich MP Michael Irvine is attempting an unlikely political comeback.The man who unseated local hero Ken Weetch has another big gun in his sights – he's hoping to win a seat at the Town Hall by defeating borough council leader Peter Gardiner.

TEN years after losing his seat in Westminster, former Ipswich MP Michael Irvine is attempting an unlikely political comeback.

The man who unseated local hero Ken Weetch has another big gun in his sights – he's hoping to win a seat at the Town Hall by defeating borough council leader Peter Gardiner.

They're both standing in the newly-named Gipping Ward – based on the old Chantry Ward – which is generally considered safe for Labour.

Mr Irvine is one of 48 candidates the Tories are putting up for this year's local council elections on May 2.


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It will be the first time since 1979 that the whole council has been up for election in a single year – and the Tories are hoping to snatch power at Civic Centre for the first time in a generation.

Another Conservative candidate with parliamentary links is Paul West, who is standing for the Stoke Park ward. He fought Chris Mole in last November's Ipswich by-election.

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Well-known Cliff Lane butcher George Debman stood against the official candidate in St. Clement's ward two years ago.

The Tories' candidate then was Martyn Green, who has since joined the Labour Party. Now Mr Debman has joined the Tories and is standing in the ward, now renamed Holywells.

Another politician attempting a comeback is former Suffolk county surveyor and councillor Jeffrey Stansfield.

When he lost his St. Margaret's seat at County Hall to Inga Lockington last May, he said he was retiring from public life.

However the lure of the ballot box became too powerful for him and he is having another tilt at the seat next month.

Most of Labour's sitting councillors are hoping to return to Civic Centre, although former mayor and council leader Eric Grant is retiring and will be missed in debates.

Meanwhile firebrand former councillor Robert Ray-Dobson is hoping to regain his seat in the marginal Rushmere ward and new Labour agent  John Cook is hoping to win in Holywells.

The Liberal Democrats are also fielding 48 candidates this time – including former Labour members Gillian Auton,  mayor in 1984-85, and George King.

And the Christian People's alliance, buoyed by their relatively impressive show in the November by-election is hoping to have an impact on May 2.

Ipswich Council nominations:

Alexandra: *Penny Breakwell (L), *Maureen Carrington-Brown (L), Jane Chambers (LD), *Dianne Hosking (L), Sue Rush (C), Margaret Saunders (C), Maureen Springle (C), Kenneth Toye (LD), Robin Whitmore (LD)

Bixley: *Stephen Barker (C), Adam Beaton (LD), Colin Campbell (L), Dave Cooper (CPA), Brian Fearnley (LD), Sue Maguire (L), John Rivett (LD), Soo Smart (L), *Gordon Terry (C), Bill Wright (C)

Bridge: Andrew Booth (C), Denise Earle (LD), Albie Kingham (C), Juliet Lloyd (LD), Maureen Mott (C), *Jim Powell (L), *Philip Smart (L), Harold Mangar (L), Elisabeth Williams (LD)

Castle Hill: James Adams (L), *Henry Davies (C), Nina Day (LD), *David Goldsmith (C), Joan Goodall (LD), Dale Jackson (C), Ann Manuel (L), Peter Shaw (L), Clive Witter (LD)

Gainsborough: *SallyBrown (L), William Cook (C), *Don Edwards (L), Louise Gooch (LD), Nicholas Jacob (LD), Keith Matthews (C), Nico Mott (C), *John Mowles (L), Charles Tracy (LD)

Gipping: Jill Atkins (LD), *David Ellesmere (L), *Peter Gardiner (L), Michael Irvine (C), Helen Last (C), Amy Luke (LD), Jeannette Macartney (L), Donald Perkins (LD), Robert Strutt (C)

Holywells: Catherine Chambers (LD), John Cook (L), Robert Daines (L), George Debman (C),*David Hale (C), Liz Harsant (C), Dick Kirby (L), Velina Walden (LD), Bob Zablok (LD)

Priory Heath: Frank Dodwell (LD), Sarah Dodwell (C), *Dali Jabbar (L), *Bradley Maguire (L), *Bill Quinton (L), Martin Pakes (LD), Ben Redsell (C), Peter Rush (C)

Rushmere: Gillian Auton (LD), Stephen Bloomfield (CPA), *Keith Herod (L), Stephen Ion (C), David Isaacs (L), Roberta Kerslake (LD), Graham Lucas (LD), Robert Ray-Dobson (L), *Mark Rush (C), *Keith Wood (C)

St John's: *Stephen Cook (C), *Liz Cooper (L), Elizabeth Hubbard (LD), David Kitchen (LD), *Neil MacDonald (L), Sandy Martin (L), Edward Phillips (C), Janet Phipps (G), Gavin Stone (CPA), Carlton Vajzovic (C), John Whitear (LD)

St Margaret's: Richard Atkins (LD), *David Brown (C), Adele Cook (L), *John Cooper (LD), Carole Leggett (C), *Inga Lockington (LD), Steve Reynolds (L), Jane Shaw (L), Jeffrey Stansfield (C)

Sprites: Gwynne Chipperfield (LD), Roy Dovaston (C), *Ian Grimwood (L), Bob Hall (C), Kathleen Kenna (C), *John Le Grys (L), Philip Richardson (LD), *Richard Risebrow (L), James Williams (LD)

Stoke Park: Roger Fern (L), David Mullett (LD), *Keith Rawlingson (L), Catherine Stafford (LD), Tim Starkey (LD), Barry Studd (L), Duncan Titchmarsh (C), *Don Ward (C), Paul West (C)

Westgate: *Mary Blake (L), *Martin Cook (L), Dennis Day (LD), Stella Fuller (C), *John Harris (L), Timothy Lockington (LD), Julia Schubert (C), Cynthia Toye (LD), Robert Watson (C)

Whitehouse: Charlie Blue (LD), *Albert Grant (L), Michael Higgins (LD), George King (LD), Colin Morgan (C), *Chris Newbury (L), *Trevor Payne (L), Tracy Rivers (C), Mary Young (C)

Whitton: Adrian Brown (LD), *Hamil Clarke (L), Sandie Doyle (C), Julie Fletcher (LD), *Martyn Green (L), Neville Jackson (C), Stephen Lark (C) Graham Manuel (L), Santa Richardson (LD).

*denotes councillor seeking re-election, not necessarily in their current ward

Key: C (Conservative), CPA (Christian Peoples Alliance), L (Labour), LD (Liberal Democrat), G (Green)

Suffolk County Council by-election

Ipswich Town: Kevan Lim (L), Tony Ramsey (C), Robin Whitmore (LD)

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