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Ipswich by election date set

PUBLISHED: 13:43 01 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

THE writ for the Ipswich by-election was due to be moved today in the House of Commons.

That will mean the election will take place in three weeks' time - on November 22.

THE writ for the Ipswich by-election was due to be moved today in the House of Commons.

That will mean the election will take place in three weeks' time – on November 22.

The first four candidates have declared themselves in the race to succeed Jamie Cann as MP for the town.

Mum-of-three Tessa Munt, 42, was today confirmed as the Liberal Democrat candidate. She comes from Sudbury and fought the South Suffolk seat in June's general election.

Flanked by Liberal Democrat home affairs' spokesman Simon Hughes, Mrs Munt launched a petition calling for more police in Suffolk – and brought a banner representing the 50 officers she claimed Suffolk had lost since 1997.

"I delighted to be representing Ipswich and I feel very honoured to have been selected," said Mrs Munt, a legal executive. She added that she had spent last night at a forum listening to people's concerns about policing in the town.

Mr Hughes said: "Tessa is a very good candidate. It was a very well contested selection, very close run, and she won through.

"She brings a good knowledge of the constituency and with her legal background, a good knowledge of the issues."

But he acknowledged that the Liberal Democrats had a hard fight on their hands in the labour strong-hold seat.

"We want to win, we think we can win and think we will do a good job in the town if we do win."

David Cooper will be fighting for the newly-formed Christian People's Alliance. The Ipswich-based teacher and youth worker fought Bury St. Edmunds for the Liberal Democrats in 1997.

Ipswich Socialist Alliance has reselected Pete Leech to stand in the by-election, having

contested the seat in June's General Election. It will be putting forward a platform against the war in Afghanistan, improved funding of public services and against privatisations.

And John Ramirez will be fighting the seat for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance.

Performing arts student Mr Ramirez, 36, is currently on bail after fighting a charge of possessing cannabis on human rights grounds.

Meanwhile, members of the Ipswich Labour Party will meet tonight to choose their candidate for the by-election, but the town's Conservatives have delayed their selection meeting by 38 hours.

More than 400 Labour Party members have been invited to attend their meeting in a marquee at Ipswich Town Football Club, starting at 8pm.

Three candidates have been shortlisted by the party's national executive – Croydon councillor Amanda Campbell, who fought Billericay at the General Election; Chris Mole, leader of Suffolk County Council; and Jan Royall, a European Commission official in Brussels who is a former member of Neil Kinnock's staff.

About 200 Conservatives will gather at Westerfield House Hotel at 10.30am on Saturday to choose a candidate.

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