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Tory hopeful chosen for Ipswich fight

PUBLISHED: 12:29 03 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

THE former leader of the Conservative group on Ipswich Council is to fight the seat in this month's by-election.

Paul West, 28, was today selected as parliamentary candidate for the by-election, which will take place on November 22.

ALL the main candidates in the battle for the Ipswich parliamentary seat have strong local roots after the Tories selected businessman Paul West as their standard bearer.

Mr West, 32, is a former leader of the Conservative group on Ipswich council and is currently chairman of the constituency Conservative Association.

He was chosen to fight the seat by a special meeting of the Association at the weekend.

Mr West was born and brought up in the town and was a pupil at Claydon High School before spending 13 years with Willis Corroon.

Since 1999 he has run his own property management company. Mr West is married to Dawn.

He told The Evening Star: "It's a great honour to be selected to fight the seat for the party. I am Ipswich through and through and I feel it is important that the town's MP has strong local links.

"We have a lot to offer this seat and I shall be fighting very hard to win it," he added.

Mr West is also hoping to broaden his appeal to attract not only those who are die-hard Conservatives.

"Ipswich needs a local MP who will put the interests of the town before party politics," he said.

This selection means that both Labour and the Conservatives have chosen Ipswich residents to fight the seat.

Labour hopeful Chris Mole lives in the town and is leader of Suffolk County Council. His campaign was officially launched today by Labour Party Chairman and cabinet minister Charles Clarke.

"The choice facing Ipswich people is to go back to the boom and bust Tories or forward with Labour's sensible investment plans," Mr Mole said today.

"I asked Charles Clarke to come down to Gainsborough to meet a hard-working Ipswich couple and discuss life on a local estate."

The Liberal Democrats' candidate, Tessa Munt, is also from Suffolk – and her campaign was being given a kick-start by Suffolk peer Baroness Scott.

"I think local issues are crucial in this election," she said.

Another candidate to join the fray is the Green Party's Tony Slade.

He is a veteran of several parliamentary and European elections – and as well as traditional Green policies, he will also be campaigning to stop the war in Afghanistan.

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