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Ipswich: Former leader Dale Jackson on the comeback trail as he is selected as UKIP candidate ahead of borough council elections

PUBLISHED: 07:52 24 April 2014

Dale Jackson

Dale Jackson

Controversial former Tory council leader Dale Jackson is attempting to make a comeback in this year’s borough elections in his old ward – for UKIP.

Mr Jackson, who left the council after falling out with his Conservative colleagues, has been selected as UKIP candidate for Castle Hill ward.

It is a seat that his new party is targeting – the party’s James Crossley won the Whitton and Whitehouse county council division last year and that includes part of Castle Hill.

Mr Jackson will be up against former Conservative leader Chris Stewart who stood down earlier this year after a split in his group during the borough’s budget debate.

The Castle Hill ward will now be a key battleground – with Mr Jackson well known in the area.

He was Conservative leader in 2004 when the party took control of the borough in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, but stepped down as council leader after he became subject of a Standards’ Board investigation into claims that he had sent an inappropriate letter to the teenage daughter of a fellow Conservative councillor.

He was cleared of wrong-doing, but the group did not allow him to return as leader. After that he fell out with other Conservatives, and ended up sitting as an independent councillor.

Mr Jackson has since made other attempts to return to the authority as an independent – but has never gained a significant number of votes. That could change with his endorsement by UKIP.

He is also a former Conservative county councillor – and at one point he attracted controversy after revealing that he had taken part in Orange Parades during visits to Ulster.

Mr Crossley, who is helping to organise the UKIP campaign in Ipswich, said the party was aware of Mr Jackson’s colourful past.

The party is hoping to field 15 candidates in the 17 borough council elections being held this year.

Mr Stewart was relaxed about Mr Jackson’s intervention in the election: “I do not think it makes any difference to what will happen.

“He is known in the area, but he has stood against (current group leader) Liz Harsant in the past and didn’t do very well then.”

Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with an incident that caused armed officers to swoop on Ipswich town centre tonight.

Highways bosses have announced they will be carrying out a series of improvements to the road network across Suffolk and north Essex this week.

Kebab fans will be excited to hear a new fast food outlet that prides itself on making top quality versions of the takeaway staple is opening in Ipswich soon.

Drivers in Woodbridge have faced long delays this afternoon after a major route through the town became flooded.

Firefighters were sent to tackle a blaze that broke out in a flat in Ipswich this afternoon.

Colchester MP Will Quince has described a knife attack in the town that left a teenager seriously hurt as “deeply alarming”.

The shocking prevalence of rape in Ipswich has been uncovered in an EADT and Star investigation.

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