Senior Tory moving to Suffolk

FORMER Tory Party chairman Lord Tebbit is moving to Suffolk his disabled wife.

FORMER Tory Party chairman Lord Tebbit is moving to Suffolk his disabled wife.

Once described in the House of Commons as “A semi-house-trained polecat,” his views have not mellowed since he told Tories in 1981 how his father had “got on his bike” to find work during the depression.

Residents in the Churchgate area of Bury St Edmunds last night said they were looking forward to having Lord and Lady Tebbit as neighbours after it emerged the couple were looking to move into historic Churchgate House, in Churchgate Street.

Lord Tebbit, who currently lives in Mannings Heath in West Sussex, held a number of key posts during the 1980s including Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, chairman of the Conservative Party, Trade and Industry Secretary and Secretary of State for Employment.

It is understood the couple had also expressed an interest in Alwyn House, the former tea rooms in the Abbey Gardens, though it remains unclear whether the Bury property would be a full-time or second home.

A planning application has been lodged on the couple's behalf by Bury architects Brown and Scarlett to build a two-storey extension at the largely 18th Century property for a disabled lift, for use by Lady Tebbit who was seriously injured during an IRA bomb blast at the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984.

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In the firm's application, it says discussions had been held with the planning department and there was “general support for the proposals”.

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley told how he had heard rumours that Lord and Lady Tebbit were interested in Bury but did not know the couple well enough to ask them about it.

“If Lord and Lady Tebbit are moving to Bury then I hope the town will welcome them with open arms. That is because Lord Tebbit is one of the political giants of our age. He played a key part in turning this country around when it was virtually bankrupted in 1979.

“I will be looking forward to having him as a constituent. Whether you're Liberal, Labour or Conservative, whether you agree with him or not, he was a giant figure in political history.”