Meet John Cook the next mayor of Ipswich – and a Norwich City supporter

John Gook

John Cook is set to become the next mayor of Ipswich. - Credit: Ipswich Labour Party

The new Ipswich mayor taking office this week is very different from his predecessors in one respect – he's a Norwich City supporter!

John Cook and his family moved down the A140 from his home city 21 years ago to become the new secretary and agent of Ipswich Labour Party – and he was first elected to the borough council in 2006.

But old allegiances die hard when it comes to football – even though he admits to developing a fondness for the Tractor Boys over the last two decades.

He said: "I have always been a Norwich fan. Always will be. But over the last few years I've been going down to Portman Road and I'd like to see the team do well. I'm quite relieved that the clubs are unlikely to be playing a derby match during my mayoralty though!"

Mr Cook, 57, has been involved in Labour politics all his adult life and worked for the party in Norwich and at a regional level before moving to Ipswich in 2001.

He could have returned to Norwich in 2010 – he stood as Labour candidate for Norwich North in the general election that year – but the Conservative victory there meant he continued with his job in Ipswich.

He retired as agent last year, but remains party secretary: "That really means I just take the minutes of meetings. By the time the next general election comes around I'll be nearly 60 and at that age, I don't want to be working all hours every day for about four or five weeks solid organising the election campaign!"

John and Adele Cook

John and Adele Cook will be mayor and consort in Ipswich for the next year. - Credit: IBC

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Mr Cook has been deputy mayor for the last year and will swap roles with current mayor Elizabeth Hughes at Wednesday's mayor-making ceremony at the Corn Exchange.

As well as his work with the Labour Party, Mr Cook is a keen supporter of the co-operative movement and has been a director of the East of England Co-op since 2012.

He says the theme of his year in office will be community and co-operation and he will be supported by his wife Adele, a lawyer in the public sector, as consort for his year in office.