Tories ready to choose Gummer successor

Tory members in the constituency were due to meet today to choose a successor to long-serving MP John Gummer.

SUFFOLK COASTAL: Tory members in the constituency were due to meet today to choose a successor to long-serving MP John Gummer.

A shortlist of three men and three women was drawn up by constituency officers last week and activists are due to make a decision at a special meeting this afternoon at Suffolk Showground, Trinity Park.

The final six include two Suffolk-based Tories. Hugo de Burgh, who lives in Woodbridge, is director of the China Media Centre and professor of journalism at the University of Westminster. He is honorary professor of journalism at Shandong University and has written a book on investigative journalism.

The other candidate with Suffolk connections is Sophie Stanbrook, who is running the election campaign of Mr Gummer's son Ben in Ipswich.


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Also shortlisted are Kay Mason, a businesswoman and farmer from Norfolk, Tiu Clark who is a Lincolnshire headteacher, Therese Coffee from Hampshire who works for the BBC, and Nadhim Zahawi, the corporate director of the YouGov polling organisation.

Mr Gummer, who has been a Suffolk MP since 1979, announced shortly after Christmas that he would stand down at the General Election to concentrate on finding a solution to the failed Copenhagen climate change study.

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Today's meeting will be moderated by journalist Jonathan Isaby, who is joint editor of the ConservativeHome web site.

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