Tory leader arrives in town

CONSERVATIVE leader Michael Howard was in Ipswich today lending his support to the campaign to keep open suburban post offices.And he was also giving a boost to his party's chances in this year's local council elections in June.

CONSERVATIVE leader Michael Howard was in Ipswich today lending his support to the campaign to keep open suburban post offices.

And he was also giving a boost to his party's chances in this year's local council elections in June.

Mr Howard visited the closure-threatened Ruskin Road Post Office at the end of a two-day tour of East Anglia.

He travelled to Ipswich after engagements in Norfolk and north Suffolk.


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And he said the post office campaign was very important to his party.

"This is the kind of local campaign at grassroot level that we are getting very much involved in.

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"It is issues like this that cause people great concern - the reason that post offices like those in Ipswich are under threat is because the government has changed the way it pays benefits," he said.

"We know they say you can still get them from the post office, but the government has made the process so complicated no one wants to get involved with it."

Mr Howard said his party was looking forward to June's elections.

"We are looking forward to the European elections - there is no reason why we shouldn't do even better than we did in 1999," he said.

"And locally it is good to see Conservatives coming back in places like Ipswich and Norwich. Before I was elected leader I said there should be no 'no go areas' for the party, and that seems to be the case," he added.

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