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New date set for selection of MP

PUBLISHED: 07:33 26 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 March 2010

THE date for the selection of a potential successor to Ipswich MP Jamie Cann has been changed by the Labour Party following outrage that it was due to be held within hours of a service in his memory.

THE date for the selection of a potential successor to Ipswich MP Jamie Cann has been changed by the Labour Party following outrage that it was due to be held within hours of a service in his memory.

The Party was branded callous and heartless after it announced members would meet to select their candidate for a by-election on the evening of October 31, the same day that civic dignitaries and members of the public would celebrate Mr Cann's life at a memorial service at St Mary-le-Tower.

The Labour Party said a timetable for the selection of a candidate to replace Mr Cann, who died on October 15 aged 55, had only been set following his funeral.

However, following the announcement that the civic memorial service was to be held at 12.30pm on Wednesday, it said it had made the decision to delay the meeting until November 1.

The move has been welcomed by Mr Cann's widow Rosie.

She said: "I am very grateful to the Party for this decision. I understand very well that there was never any intention to be insensitive.

"I have heard from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and his words were a great comfort to the family.

"I am glad that this situation has now been resolved and that both the memorial service and the Labour Party's selection meeting can go ahead properly."

The Labour Party stressed that its primary concern has been to show its respect to Mr Cann's family and pay tribute to his memory and achievements for the town he served as MP for ten years.

Peter Watt, Labour Party Regional Director, said: "The Labour Party is glad the situation has developed to everyone's satisfaction and we are all entirely united in our determination to carry Jamie's work forward through a new Labour MP for Ipswich."

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