Gummer's son will take on Chris Mole

A FORMER cabinet minister's son has been chosen as the Tory candidate to take on Ipswich MP Chris Mole at the next General Election.Ben Gummer, son of Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, got the nod from members of the public following a “Big Brother style” event staged in the town last night to pick the Conservative party's next candidate.

A FORMER cabinet minister's son has been chosen as the Tory candidate to take on Ipswich MP Chris Mole at the next General Election.

Ben Gummer, son of Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, got the nod from members of the public following a “Big Brother style” event staged in the town last night to pick the Conservative party's next candidate.

Along with three other contenders, 29-year-old Mr Gummer was quizzed by a moderator for ten minutes prior to taking questions from the floor for a further 20 minutes.

During his time on stage he spoke of his desire to address anti social behaviour in Ipswich, defend Ipswich Hospital and to fight for the town.

Mr Gummer won the candidature comprehensively after polling more than 50 per cent of votes cast in the first round.

He will need to turnaround a Labour majority of around 5,000 votes to be successful at the next election.

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Mr Gummer said he believes he can gain enough support in the town to defeat Chris Mole but conceded it will be a tough challenge.

He said: “Anyone who says it is going to be a breeze is talking out the top of their hat.

“I need to get out there and do my very best to present arguments and create a choice.

“I am going to spend a lot of time trying to get the new Conservative message through and listening to concerns of Ipswich voters.

“We are a new, young party determined to win with fresh and exciting policies.”

Ben Gummer's father John Gummer, 67, became an MP on his third attempt aged 30 in Lewisham West.

Mr Gummer senior joined the cabinet in 1989 as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, moving to become Secretary of State for the Environment under John Major in 1993.

n.What do you think of the new Tory candidate? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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