Tory battle breaks out in Suffolk town

TORY wars have erupted in Stowmarket with the town mayor's decision to stand against an official Conservative candidate in a by-election.Frank Whittle, who became mayor last month with the official backing of Conservative colleagues, faces expulsion from the party.

TORY wars have erupted in Stowmarket with the town mayor's decision to stand against an official Conservative candidate in a by-election.

Frank Whittle, who became mayor last month with the official backing of Conservative colleagues, faces expulsion from the party. He failed to win the nomination for the June 21 county-council by-election in the Stowmarket North and Stowupland division and has now been nominated as an independent.

In addition to being a town councillor, Mr Whittle was also elected as the official Tory candidate in the Stowmarket North ward of Mid Suffolk district council in May 3's elections.

Mr Whittle said: “I have tried on three occasions to get the Conservative nomination for Stowmarket for the county elections.


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“This time, the party has chosen someone from Needham Market who has not served on any council before.

“I'm not going to resign from the party. If they want to kick me out, it will be their decision.”

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Tory Party rules forbid members standing against official Conservative candidates. He could be expelled from the party, along with any members who signed his nomination forms.

Eric Flack, chairman of Bury St Edmunds constituency Conservatives, said candidate Alastair Liddell was chosen by a properly-constituted selection committee from four members seeking the party's nomination.

n. Nominated candidates for the by-election - caused by the resignation of Eleanor Ramsey, who is moving to Humberside after obtaining a job with the police authority - are: Alastair Liddell (Conservative), Duncan Macpherson (Labour), John Matthissen (Green Party), Chris Streatfield (UK Independence Party), Nick Turner (Liberal Democrat) and Frank Whittle (Independent).

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