Councillor dropped from Tory candidates list after another clash with party

Christopher Hudson has not been selected to fight the district election. Picture: SIMON LEE

Christopher Hudson has not been selected to fight the district election. Picture: SIMON LEE - Credit: Simon Lee

Controversial Conservative councillor Christopher Hudson has been dropped by his party in the run-up to May’s local elections – he will not be able to contest the Framlingham ward in the first election for East Suffolk Council.

And in another blow he has been told to send a written apology to fellow Suffolk Coastal Conservative Phillip Dunnett after it was felt that he had questioned his integrity at a council planning meeting by suggesting his membership of the same Masonic lodge as council leader Ray Herring.

Mr Hudson has been a controversial figure for several years. He was de-selected as county council candidate for Kesgrave three years ago, only to be nominated – and win – the hitherto safe Liberal Democrat Belstead Brook seat in the 2017 elections.

He was also reprimanded by Suffolk Coastal after an earlier planning row in which he was accused of bullying the chair of the district’s planning committee.

As a result of that he was removed from the planning committee.

He said he still had to decide whether to apologise to Mr Dunnett over the latest clash which happened at a planning meeting in early January – he has been given two weeks to get the letter written and approved by the council’s monitoring officer.

Suffolk Coastal is to merge with Waveney council in the run-up to May’s elections when the first East Suffolk Councillors will be elected.

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Mr Hudson accepts he will not be able to stand as a Conservative in the elections in that district – but he could stand as Conservative for the Pinewood and Sproughton ward in Babergh council.

He said: “The fact that I am county councillor for Belstead Brook means I work in the area and I have got on the candidates’ list for South Suffolk so I hope to stand for that ward.”

He was not surprised that he had not be put on the approved Conservative candidates’ list for the East Suffolk council elections because of his clashes with leading figures at the authority.

Mr Hudson is a former deputy leader of Suffolk County Council, but over recent years he has frequently hit the headlines for his arguments with colleagues at Suffolk Coastal, especially over planning issues in the Framlingham Ward that he represents on the council.