Support for Mole after resignation
IPSWICH MP Chris Mole has found support among Labour members in the town after his resignation as a ministerial aide.However his decision to sign a letter calling for the prime minister to name a date for his departure came as a surprise to politicians across the spectrum.
IPSWICH MP Chris Mole has found support among Labour members in the town after his resignation as a ministerial aide.
However his decision to sign a letter calling for the prime minister to name a date for his departure came as a surprise to politicians across the spectrum.
Labour county councillor Kevan Lim, who took over Mr Mole's seat at County Hall, felt the MP had no choice but to sign the letter and resign - saying that the leadership position needed to be resolved before next year's elections.
Mr Mole said he had spoken to Labour officials in the town who understood his position and accepted it.
He said: “It wasn't an easy decision, I am instinctively loyal to the government.”
Senior Labour councillor John Mowles, who was party agent for many years, was surprised that the MP would have signed a letter calling for the prime minister to name a date for his departure.
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“I can imagine him giving his opinion privately, but I am surprised that he put his name to a letter like this.
“Members of the Ipswich Labour Party will, I'm sure, be keen to talk to him about the letter - but I'm sure he must have very real concerns to prompt him to take this step.”
Conservative councillor Paul West was beaten by Mr Mole in both the 2001 by-election and in last year's general election.
He was surprised he had signed the letter. He said: “I didn't think he would be prepared to put his head above the parapet like that - he's always been a bit of a yes-man.”
But he did not think a change in the leadership of the Labour Party would make much difference.
He added: “Whenever there is a leadership change there is a short honeymoon period, but from our point of view I would much rather fight Gordon Brown than Tony Blair.”
And leading Liberal Democrat Andrew Cann, whose father Jamie was Labour MP before Mr Mole felt the Ipswich MP had signed the letter in an attempt to save his skin.
He said: “He's seen the Labour Party's support in Ipswich dwindle over the last five years, and he wants to hang on to his seat. It could also be that he hopes Gordon Brown might be able to offer him something.”
nWas Chris Mole right to sacrifice his job as a ministerial aide to sign the letter? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org>