Ipswich: Political spat between councillor and MP ends with public online apology

IPSWICH: A public spat between the town’s Conservative MP and a leading Labour councillor has resulted in a public online apology.

Labour councillor Alasdair Ross had written a blog entry which contained part of a report from a national left-wing newspaper.

It had quoted a press release from a charity which suggested Ipswich MP Ben Gummer had shown disrespect by talking loudly during a parliamentary committee hearing into mesothelioma.

However this week he published a new blog saying: “Though Ben was ‘told off’ by the chair for talking during a meeting, I have no doubt that he meant no disrespect to those who suffer from mesothelioma and that he did indeed listen carefully to Labour MP Kate Green’s speech on Legal Aid and cases of mesothelioma.

“I have always found Ben Gummer polite and I know that he is a conscientious and hard-working MP.

“I do not agree with his views on the changes to the Legal Aid system and it seems from the comments to Ben’s article that many others are also concerned where the government are going with Legal Aid.

“I unreservedly apologise to Ben and will make sure that I ask for his view before printing any story on him in the future.”

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Mr Gummer said he had not demanded an apology, although he had contacted Mr Ross to say he was not happy about the blog.

He said: “I’ve always found Alasdair to be reasonable and I am pleased to see this blog entry.

“The matter is closed so far as I am concerned.”

Mr Ross said the original information had come from a press release from a charity, but after being contacted by the MP he was happy to accept Mr Gummer had meant no disrespect.

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