Harman's appointment: Ipswich reaction

POLITICIANS in Ipswich are celebrating today after Harriet Harman was elected as the new deputy leader of the Labour party.

POLITICIANS in Ipswich are celebrating today after Harriet Harman was elected as the new deputy leader of the Labour party.

The town's MP, Chris Mole, was an active member of the justice minister's campaign team.

On his official website he said: “I have seen Harriet in Parliament committed to the issues that Labour values.

“I am always impressed at the priority she gives to family and children's issues. She speaks sense and will provide a balanced appeal for potential Labour voters.”

The election victory, announced yesterday, means Mr Mole has the Labour leadership he was hoping for after also supporting Gordon Brown to be leader of the party.

Former Suffolk County Council leader, Bryony Rudkin, now councillor for Chantry, said she was also thrilled with the surprise result as Ms Harman was a personal friend.

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She told The Evening Star: “I'm delighted, really pleased. It is good news for the Labour party; she's in touch with what party members want.

“She has a lot of good things to say and it will help the party go forward.

“I also think it is good it's a woman who has been chosen.”

Ms Harman, 56, takes over the role of deputy leader following John Prescott's resignation from the post.

The bookies favourite before the result of the ballot of Labour party members was announced had been education secretary, Alan Johnson, but Ms Harman emerged as the victor with 50.4per cent of the vote after fifth preferences were taken into account.

Are you pleased Harriet Harman is Labour's new deputy leader? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk