Ipswich Tories choose their man
By Graham DinesPolitical Editor IPSWICH Conservatives have chosen the defeated Parliamentary by-election candidate of two years' ago to try to wrestle the seat from Labour at the next General Election.
By Graham Dines
IPSWICH Conservatives have chosen the defeated Parliamentary by-election candidate of two years' ago to try to wrestle the seat from Labour at the next General Election.
A special meeting at of party members at Clapgate Lane Conservative Club on Saturday gave property consultant Paul West a first round victory over two other hopefuls.
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Mr West, who halved the Labour majority in Ipswich in November 2001 at a by-election caused by the death of MP Jamie Cann, has lived in the town all his life and is a previous Tory group leader on the borough council.
After the selection meeting, Mr West - who is 34 years old and married to Dawn - said he was delighted to be given the opportunity "to go out and win the hearts and minds of the people of Ipswich."
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He added: "In the by-election, I cut Labour's majority to 4,000. It's time for a change.
"I am looking to build on the wave of optimism that is sweeping the Conservative Party since the election of Michael Howard as leader. I'm going to work hard for the people of this constituency and the party on our way to winning Ipswich."
He listed his top priorities as focusing on tackling the rise in anti-social and criminal behaviour. "The lives of many people are being blighted by an unacceptable conduct of a few. Action is long overdue in restoring people's confidence in law and order."
A keen follower of most sports, he is a particularly enthusiastic supporter if the Ipswich Witches speedway team.
Constituency chairman Jeffrey Stansfield said: "Party members selected Paul West because of his local connections, his commitment to fighting to get the best deal for Ipswich and because we felt he was the best person for the job."