Ex-leader Colin Noble wins right to stand as Tory candidate again

Colin Noble looks set to fight his seat again next year. Picture: CHRIS GROVER

Colin Noble looks set to fight his seat again next year. Picture: CHRIS GROVER

Former Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble has won his appeal against deselection – and is expected to be selected to stand as Conservative candidate for his Row Heath division in next year’s elections.

But former deputy leader Jane Storey lost her appeal – and is now looking at other ways to try to stand again for the county council.

Both were initially dropped by party members in the West Suffolk and Bury St Edmunds constituencies – and there have been suggestions that the fact they had not supported the new Conservative leadership at Endeavour House had counted against them.

MORE: Leading Tories dropped by party for next election

Mr Noble said: “I went to appeal and I won that appeal. I am now on the candidates’ list and I will be seeking the nomination to fight my division again – it is the only division I shall be looking to stand in.” When asked if he thought there had been an attempt to remove the former leadership of the council he said: “No comment.”

Mrs Storey was granted an appeal after she complained about the make-up of the original five-person panel who rejected her application to be on the candidates’ list.

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She said: “I was interviewed on Saturday morning and on Saturday afternoon I was told I had not been successful again. But three of the five people on the panel had been on the original panel, so that was no surprise. If you are a criminal and win a retrial on appeal, you don’t have more than half the same jury hearing the evidence a second time!”

When asked if she felt there was a campaign against former council leaders, she said: “You might think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.”

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But she felt the party could be handing her seat to the opposition: “As politicians we know that a seat is at its most vulnerable when there is a new candidate who isn’t well known standing for election.

“At the weekend, after it was known that I had been dropped, The Greens started leafletting the villages in my division. You don’t have to be too much of an expert to work out why!”

Those close to the current leadership of the county council say that there has been no attempt at a purge of former group leaders and any decisions were taken by local party members preparing for next May’s county council elections.

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