When Labour chose Kevin Craig to contest Central Suffolk and North Ipswich in the general election back in March, he knew how the campaign was likely to go.

It's always looked like a safe Conservative seat and the Tories had re-adopted their experienced MP Dr Dan Poulter to contest it again for the fifth time.

Everyone expected the general election to happen in October or November - so there was plenty of time for him to go around the seat making his face known.

Then at the end of April he found that his opponent had defected and was now joining his team at the next election.

Dr Poulter joined Labour and has been invited by Sir Keir Starmer to contribute to a Labour review into the NHS. 

Then just a few weeks later the Prime Minister fired the starting pistol for the general election about five months earlier than most people (including just about everyone in his own party) expected.

Now Mr Craig and Dr Poulter are firmly on the same side and the former MP was supporting his new colleague in Kesgrave earlier this week - finally giving us a photo-opportunity we'd been waiting for.

But shortly afterwards things got even stranger - Mr Craig went to the Man in the Moon pub at Fircroft Road in the part of Ipswich that is in his constituency  . . . and bumped into his new Conservative rival for the seat Patrick Spencer.

The two men seemed to take the unscheduled meeting in their stride and were photographed together.

Kevin Craig and Patrick Spencer bumped into each other at the Man on the Moon in Ipswich.Kevin Craig and Patrick Spencer bumped into each other at the Man on the Moon in Ipswich. (Image: Kevin Craig)

Mr Craig put it on his social media page saying: "Civility in politics is important to me. It was nice to bump into my Conservative counterpart and say hello, whilst campaigning in the constituency today."

I hope they're both feeling the same way at 5am on July 5 when they're both waiting for the result to come through at the Debenham Leisure Centre count!


A number of cabinet ministers are facing tough battles in their own seats - so rather than travelling the country supporting other candidates they have tended to send them messages on social media.

One of the most prolific of these is Defence Secretary Grant Shapps who has recorded messages which he's put on X (formerly Twitter) for Waveney Valley's Richard Rout and Bury St Edmunds' Will Tanner among others.

The message he sent to Mr Tanner set me thinking. He talked about two RAF bases in his constituency.

So where is the second air base, Mr Shapps?So where is the second air base, Mr Shapps? (Image: X (Twitter))

RAF Honington, the home of the RAF Regiment, is in the seat - but where's the other? Wattisham was in it until the Boundary Commission review but it was moved into Central Suffolk and North Ipswich last year.

But Wattisham hasn't been an RAF base since 1992.

The Army took it over in 1993 - at which time the MoD and army press officers sent off copious broadsides to any media who dared to describe the place as "RAF Wattisham."

I know because I was sitting at the newsdesk at the time and would yell across to any reporter who got it wrong. We had to call it "Wattisham Flying Station."

I wonder if any of his minions at the MoD had the courage to tell Mr Shapps he had made a double mistake over this? Something tells me not! I consider I have now done my public duty in putting him right!