Sandy Martin’s general election victory forces Labour supporter to look for new home for office

Soo Smart at her computer in her Silent Street office. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Soo Smart at her computer in her Silent Street office. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

When Sandy Martin unexpectedly won the Ipswich seat in last week’s general election, it left one of his strongest supporters with a serious problem.

Soo Smart’s business is now facing eviction from her office – but she could not be happier at the news!

For the last 18 months Mrs Smart, who has her own computer graphic company Double S Design, has run her business from the ground floor office in the Labour Party’s premises in Silent Street.

She said: “The office was vacant and I needed somewhere to run the business away from our home so it looked like a good match. I thought I would have five years here before it was needed by a Labour MP again!”

The office has always been used by the town’s MP when the seat is held by Labour, and will be used by Mr Martin once he has his organisation set up.

Mrs Smart is the wife of long-serving Labour councillor Phil, and her son Colin is now also on the borough,

She said: “I am having to look for a new office in the town centre, but really I couldn’t be happier to be in this position. I was cheering as loudly as anyone when Sandy won and then it struck me that I’d have to move out.

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“I’ve been looking at commercial property and there are a lot of offices out there, but I haven’t got anywhere in mind yet.”

She has until the end of the month to find new premises – and is excited about the prospect of moving: “It is quite interesting looking at the websites for offices. One thing I do need is good broadband access.

“But in another way it will be sad to move out – this is a very nice office.”

Mr Martin expects to have two members of staff based at his office in Ipswich and one at an office in Westminster – but has not yet made any firm plans.

He will be organising interviews once he has worked out exactly what staffing numbers he needs following his election on Friday morning.

He said: “I will do all I can to help Soo, she is a very good friend. I hope she manages to sort something out very quickly.”

Mr Martin travels to London on Tuesday to formally sign in as an MP and get all his instructions about how to work as an MP and voting instructions from the Labour Whips’ office.

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