Ipswich Tory Tom Hunt calls on Boris to back plans for a northern bypass
PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 September 2019
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was given a run-down on the state of play in Ipswich this week by the town's Conservative candidate Tom Hunt.
Mr Hunt was one of a group of Tory hopefuls invited to meet Mr Johnson after he flew back from Luxembourg in the wake of this week's abortive talks on the UK's departure from the EU.
During the meeting at Conservative Central Office in Westminster, Mr Hunt showed Mr Johnson a letter he had written to the Ipswich Star about the need for an Ipswich Northern bypass.
Mr Hunt said: "We had a quick chat for about 10 minutes. We talked about the 20,000 new police posts that are being created.
"I said that Suffolk deserved its share - and that the challenges faced by police in Ipswich are different to those in the rural parts of the county.
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"We talked about the northern bypass. I said it was needed to ease pressure in Ipswich and the Prime Minister said he was committed to improving road links to Felixstowe by investing in infrastructure. I see that as backing the bypass.
"We talked about improving schools in the area. And I hope he is able to visit the town in the election campaign.
"I told him that campaigning in Ipswich I hear a lot of people saying politicians should get on and let the Prime Minister keep his pledge of taking us out of the EU by the end of October."
Any suggestion of support for the northern bypass is likely to be countered by fellow Tory, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter who is a firm opponent - and whose constituency any new road would go through.
And while Mr Hunt told the Prime Minister about the support he found in Ipswich, sitting Labour MP Sandy Martin said Mr Johnson might find something different if he does visit the town in the run-up to a General Election.
He said: "There are a lot of people who want the issue settled. But there are a lot of people in Ipswich, including many who voted to leave the EU, who are very worried about the prospect of leaving without a deal.
"Mr Johnson would find there are many people who have voted Conservative in the past who are now prepared to vote Labour in Ipswich to prevent the danger of leaving without a deal which would cost jobs and make people much worse off."