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South Suffolk Labour hopeful withdrawn after anti-semitism row

PUBLISHED: 15:22 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:41 23 October 2019

Luke Cresswell was removed from the shortlist for the South Suffolk Labour nomination. Picture; BABERGH/MID SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Luke Cresswell was removed from the shortlist for the South Suffolk Labour nomination. Picture; BABERGH/MID SUFFOLK COUNCIL

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Labour has chosen an Ipswich councillor to fight South Suffolk at the next General Election - after former Babergh councillor Luke Cresswell was forced to withdraw after an anti-semitism row.

Elizabeth Hughes will be Labour candidate in South Suffolk. Picture: CSNI Labour PartyElizabeth Hughes will be Labour candidate in South Suffolk. Picture: CSNI Labour Party

Elizabeth Hughes, who contested the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat in 2017 was the only candidate left on the party's shortlist after Mr Cresswell's bid was ended by senior Labour officials.

Mr Cresswell was suspended by the Labour Party in 2016 after he was reported for retweeting anti-semitic material to his followers on Twitter.

However after telling officials he had not been aware of the nature of the some of the material in the posts he had re-tweeted, his suspension was lifted and he was elected as a Labour councillor to Babergh in 2017.

He lost his seat in this year's local elections - but was re-elected to Sudbury Town Council.

A Labour source said the process to select candidates for seats that the party felt were "challenging" was now under way - they are seats where there will be limited campaigning as volunteers concentrate on the fight in marginal seats like Ipswich, Waveney, or Cambridge.

The source said: "We had two on the South Suffolk shortlist - Luke and Liz. Liz fought a very energetic campaign in Central Suffolk last time so she has been asked to take on the seat this time."

Ms Hughes moved to Suffolk from London a few years ago - she was also Labour candidate in the safe Conservative Mid Norfolk seat in 2010.

After standing for parliament in 2017, she was elected to Ipswich borough as councillor for the Gipping Ward in 2018.

The party has also selected Cameron Matthews to challenge Dr Therese Coffey in Suffolk Coastal for a second time.

We called Mr Cresswell for a comment on the South Suffolk selection, but he did not respond to our phone calls or text message.

Most parties now have all their candidates in place for the General Election which looks increasingly likely to take place on December 5 after the House of Commons refused to back Boris Johnson's timescale to get the Brexit deal through Parliament - meaning that the campaign across the country could be under way within the next fortnight.

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