Bury St Edmunds: More criticism for David Ruffley as leading figure speaks out over MP’s assault caution

David Ruffley MP David Ruffley MP

Paul Geater
paul.geater@archant.co.uk
Saturday, July 5, 2014
11:00 AM

Embattled Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley has come under fire again – this time from a former vice-chairman of his local Conservative association.

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Simon Pott is also a former county councillor and has known the MP ever since he was first elected to parliament in the town in 1997.

However he now says it would be best for Mr Ruffley to stand down at the next general 
election after it emerged the MP had received a police caution in March for common assault after an incident believed to have involved his then partner Wendy Drew.

Mr Pott said: “I have known David for 17 years. He has been to my house and I have visited him and his then partner at home.

“I think he has been a good MP for the town, but I do not think it is possible for him to continue after this.

“He has spoken out against domestic violence in the past and then this happens.

“How can he go to a school or to a WI meeting after this? What will happen if he goes to a business meeting and asks for questions? Sooner or later someone will ask him about the incident.”

Mr Pott felt that if Mr Ruffley had made a public statement with a full explanation and apology straight away he might have been able to ride out the controversy.

But his refusal to make any comment about what had happened – and the fact that senior members of the association only found out when the story emerged in a national newspaper – meant Mr Pott felt Mr Ruffley could not longer remain an MP.

Mr Pott said he accepted the party would not want him to resign immediately and force a potentially tricky by-election.

He said: “If he just announced he would not be standing again next year it would give the party the chance to select a new candidate.”

Mr Pott emphasised he was no longer an officer and is, in fact, no longer a member of the association.

“But I consider myself to be a natural Conservative and I have talked to other people who are also natural Conservatives and feel the same way.”

We tried to call Mr Ruffley to put Mr Pott’s comments to him, but he did not answer his phone or respond to our voicemail message.

8 comments

  • Well said, Mr Pott. At least someone has pointed out the obvious: how can Mr Ruffley speak with credibility again with this hanging over him. He should announce that he doesn't plan to contest the next election. End of story.

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    Simmo

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

  • Well said Steve Blake.....that is the very thing they all seem to forget as soon as they get elected or not as is the case with the current sham of a government !

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    freedomf

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

  • @ Dean...Mr Prescot was doing what any 'red blooded' male would do, defending himself when an egg was thrown at him !, wouldn't you ?

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    freedomf

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

  • "Perhaps there should be law requiring an MP convicted of a criminal offence to stand down with immediate effect." Great idea. Consequences of that would be a whole string of by-elections. MPs need to wake up to the fact that they are elected to serve us; the electorate, whether or not we voted for a particular party or individual. They do not own us or have the ability to make demands upon us. A few high profile scalps would reinforce that message.

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    Steve Blake

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • There is a lot more EADT could find out about Mr Ruffley by knocking on a few doors in Bury St Edmunds than by just relying on press statements.

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    James Lakin

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • Maybe there should have been more people like Mr Pott around in May 2001 when a certain RH John Prescott punched someone - on camera...

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    Dean

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • Perhaps there should be law requiring an MP convicted of a criminal offence to stand down with immediate effect.

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    BigGeoff

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • Once again the Party puts the Party first and insults the electorate who want a by election NOW.

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    Blackeye

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

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