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Suffolk: Tory heavyweights Tim Passmore and Jenny Antill turn up the heat on Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley

15:31 01 July 2014

David Ruffley MP

David Ruffley MP

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Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley has come under fire from two more senior Tories following his caution for assault.

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Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has issued a statement describing Mr Ruffley’s behaviour as ‘inexcusable’.

And Suffolk County Council cabinet member Jenny Antill, who is chair of Suffolk Domestic Abuse Partnership, said such behaviour can never be condoned.

Mr Passmore said it was up to the Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association to decide on his future, but he had made his view clear – “such behaviour is inexcusable”.

He said: “Those of us in a leadership role in society must do our level best at all times and try to set a good example to others in what we do and how we behave – that includes all politicians regardless of any party affiliation.

“In my opinion there cannot and must not be any hiding place for the perpetrators of such crimes.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Antill said: “I cannot condone any incident of domestic abuse, regardless of the identity of the perpetrator or his or her position in society or political persuasion.”

As far as Mr Ruffley was concerned she said she had no power to influence directly any action that may be taken by his Constituency Association. However she had made the views of both herself and the partnership known to the constituency chairman, and Conservative Central Office.

Mr Ruffley was given a caution by the Metropolitan Police for common assault at an address in Pimlico on March 15 following an incident allegedly involving his then partner Wendy Drew.

Senior members of his constituency party were unaware of the incident until it was revealed by a national newspaper last month. There was disquiet about the incident among senior constituency officials, but a statement issued last week by Conservative Central Office on behalf of the association gave him their full support.

It said: “We are satisfied that the matter was thoroughly and appropriately dealt with at the time and that no further action was deemed necessary. David Ruffley has been an excellent constituency Member of Parliament for 17 years and we will continue to work with him and support him in that role.”

The statement of support came after two women’s groups – Lighthouse Women’s Aid and the Fawcett Society – called on Mr Ruffley to stand down.

However, he has maintained a public silence on the incident – and was not available to comment on Mr Passmore’s statement.

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5 comments

  • Mr Ruffley should do the decent thing and resign immediately. Shame on the constituency and national party for supporrting him, especially as he appears to have misled them at the time of his re-adoption. For too long the Tories have taken loyal support from voters in Suffolk for granted and offered little or nothing in return.

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    Andrew Watson

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

  • Many thanks to EADT for keeping this story live. Tories desperate to play it down and avoid a by election? Why is this saga ignored by the nationals and the BBC?

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    Blackeye

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

  • Hang on, the Conservative's give him full support, so basically they think hitting a woman is OK and acceptable. He should be banished from power.

    Report this comment

    Robert Ward

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

  • The press really should be knocking on a few doors in the Westgate Street area of Bury St Edmunds......

    Report this comment

    James Lakin

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

  • And the Tory party members have the 'audacity' to preach to us about 'British Standards and Values' ? Most of them do not know the first thing about morality, integrity or honesty !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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