Labour hopeful seeks support in Suffolk
VOTING in the Labour leadership election gets under way next week – and today leadership favourite David Miliband is hoping to drum up support from party members in Suffolk.
He is visiting Ipswich to meet party members and try to persuade them that he is the man who can lead Labour back to power at the next general election.
His visit comes at the end of a week when his campaign has been dogged by controversy with allegations that he and his brother Ed’s campaign are showing less than brotherly love as they fight over the future of the party.
The first voting papers are to be sent out by the party next week, and potential new members have until September 8 to sign up and get a vote in the election.
The result of the election will be declared on September 25 on the eve of the Labour Party Conference.
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Leading Labour figures in Suffolk are split three ways in the election.
David Miliband has the backing of former county council leader Bryony Rudkin and Ipswich council opposition leader David Ellesmere said he is “leaning” towards him.
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Mrs Rudkin said: “I’ve known David a bit for some time since he was local government minister. He’s a very good listener and I think he’s the kind of person who can bring back the voters we need to win the next election.
“He is also a very decent chap.”
Former education secretary Ed Balls has won the backing of former Ipswich MP Chris Mole and Suffolk Coastal candidate Adam Leeder.
Mr Mole said: “I have known Ed as a colleague in Parliament for some time and his views most closely match mine on a number of issues.
“He is committed to improving things in the country without being too dogmatic about it.”
Suffolk County Council Labour group leader Sandy Martin is backing Ed Miliband in the election.
He said: “I heard Ed when he was energy and climate change secretary and he was very passionate and sincere about the subject.
“I think he has the passion for politics that is needed to lead the party and hopefully take us back to power.”