MPs' Christmas cards at a cost

MORE than 3,000 Christmas cards will be arriving on Suffolk doormats from the county's MPs this month.

MORE than 3,000 Christmas cards will be arriving on Suffolk doormats from the county's MPs this month.

But after changes in regulations, every one will have to be paid for from the MP's own pocket as they cannot use their House of Commons mail allowance.

Top of senders is Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer who will be posting 700 cards to constituents, businesses, and media contacts.

As the county's longest-serving MP and a former cabinet minister it is perhaps not surprising he has the biggest address book.

Deputy speaker of the House of Commons Sir Michael Lord is expecting to send out between 500 and 600 cards, while West Suffolk MP Richard Spring has sent out 500 to people across the county and beyond.

Ipswich MP Chris Mole is expecting to send just over 400 cards. Unlike many of his colleagues who have sent seasonal pictures of the Houses of Parliament, he is once again sending out a design by a child.

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Cody Moyes, ten, from Halifax Primary on Maidenhall Approach, designed the card which Mr Mole is distributing through the scouts' delivery network in the town.

He said: “All the cards are hand signed, believe me that's a big job taking much of the weekend. I use the Scouts' network as much as possible but other cards have to go in the mail.”

Tim Yeo sends out about 300 cards - half are the official House of Commons card and half are a view of Gainsborough's House in Sudbury.

But Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley is cutting down on his cards this year in an attempt to do his bit for the environment.

He said: “I shall only be sending out about 200 cards. I think of all the trees that are cut down to make the cards and I really don't think that is such a good idea.

“I'll send them to people who have helped me during the year, but I don't just send them out to the same people year after year for the sake of it.”

A spokesman for Waveney MP Bob Blizzard said he would send a similar number of cards to his parliamentary colleagues.

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

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