West Suffolk Tories ignore local hopeful

WEST Suffolk Conservatives will select a successor for MP Richard Spring later this week, but following the lead of Central Suffolk & North Ipswich activists, there are no local candidates on the shortlist.

Graham Dines

WEST Suffolk Conservatives will select a successor for MP Richard Spring later this week, but following the lead of Central Suffolk & North Ipswich activists, there are no local candidates on the shortlist.

Three men and three women were shortlisted this week by a section committee headed by the constituency vice-chairman Richard Balfe, who is a former Labour Euro MP. The chairman, county councillor Colin Noble, stood down from the selection process in order to submit his own name, but he was overlooked.

Matt Hancock, chief of staff to shadow Chancellor George Osborne, has emerged as favourite. The other five candidates are Natalie Elphicke, Anthony Frieze, Sam Gyimah, Sheila Lawlor and Lucille Nicholson.


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The candidate will be chosen on January 30 at a special meeting to be held in Mildenhall.

Mr Spring is quitting after 18 years as an MP.

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Suffolk Coastal Tories have started the process to select a successor to John Gummer, who has also announced that he will not seek re-election.

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