Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

South Suffolk: Yeo’s de-selection confirmed after party ballot

10:09 04 February 2014

Tim Yeo

Tim Yeo

Archant

The search for the successor to Tim Yeo – deselected yesterday as the Conservative Party’s South Suffolk candidate to fight next year’s general election – is set to start immediately.

shares

Mr Yeo’s ousting, after more than 30 years holding the seat, was confirmed after party members voted against him in a ballot.

He will remain the South Suffolk MP until the next election, but the local party will now look for a new candidate to fight the seat.

Sources said about 82% of the 600 members of the South Suffolk Conservative Association took part in the ballot, the result of which was declared shortly after 3.30pm yesterday.

Exact results of the ballot have not been revealed by the party. However we understand the margin was about 35 votes.

That would mean about 230 members voted for Mr Yeo and 265 voted against him.

Mr Yeo’s de-selection came despite support from Chancellor George Osborne and education secretary Michael Gove and an 11th-hour letter of support from the Prime Minister.

He was also backed by Suffolk’s six other MPs who all signed a letter saying they hoped he would remain in parliament because they valued his advice.

The result heralds the end of a long political career for the MP who has represented the seat since 1983. By the time of the next election Mr Yeo will be 70.

He was de-selected by the association’s executive in November, but decided to put his case to a ballot of the entire membership, the result of which was declared yesterday.

Exact numbers of votes were not revealed, but agent Peter Burgoyne – who was one of the observers of the count – said the result was “decisive”.

He said: “The association now needs to get all its members behind it and to go forward. We have a major election to fight (the Euro-election in May) and we all need to work together on that.”

One of Mr Yeo’s fiercest critics has been executive member and Babergh councillor Simon Barrett.

He said it was important that the decision of the executive was vindicated by the membership as a whole.

“We always said we were representing the views of the membership – but during the ballot process you could never be sure how things would go.

“Now we know what we have to do – to go ahead and build on the Conservatives’ position in the constituency.”

His view was supported by James Finch, president of the largest single branch in the constituency, Nayland with Wissington.

He said: “I am not proud that it had to happen at all and that the South Suffolk Conservative Association (SSCA) Executive’s judgement of its members’ views could not be trusted without such a ballot. The result for me is no surprise whatsoever.”

He added: “Our first job is to immediately start the selection process for a new parliamentary candidate so that as many as possible can meet him or her before the next election.

“This is essential to give us the best chance of a Conservative MP being returned to our constituency with a substantial majority.”

Related articles

shares

0 comments

Will winnings be counted as well as ballot papers?

A prospective UKIP MP has offered his Conservative rival a bet on the general election result – as internal party polling suggests a UKIP surge in north Essex.

Stock image: An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester.

At least one rail service on the main line in Suffolk has been cancelled this morning after a person was hit by a train.

Shaun Webber has been jailed for more than four years after stabbing his brother multiple times in an alleyway

An Ipswich man who stabbed his brother multiple times in an alleyway after he made disparaging remarks about their mother has been jailed for four years and six weeks.

Emergency services called to Silent Street, Ipswich

The air ambulance was called out to a medical emergency at a property in Silent Street, Ipswich yesterday afternoon.

Crash on Ashcroft Road by Norwich Road junction

A young motorist yesterday sustained head injuries in a two-vehicle crash in Ipswich.

Police release CCTV images of two men wanted in connection with Southwold hotel burglary

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to following a burglary from The Crown Hotel in Southwold.

Clive Howard.

A Stowmarket rapist who attacked at least six women over nearly 30 years has been jailed for a minimum of 10 years and three months.

The EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2015 at Milsom's Kesgrave Hall.

Guests enjoy the celebration - Emma Hibbert from Adnams

The finest of the county’s food and drink industry gathered yesterday for the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2015.

Bluebell Avenue, Bury St Edmunds

Life is always rosey for the residents of the county’s freshest, colourful-sounding road names.

Part of Stoke Road in Thorndon could be closed until Wednesday.

Part of Stoke Road in Thorndon could be closed for up to two days after a six-inch water main burst.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages