Suffolk politicians ready for election when Boris Johnson goes to country

Will James Cartlidge be dusting off the rosette for another election soon? Picture; SARAH LUCY BROWN

Will James Cartlidge be dusting off the rosette for another election soon? Picture; SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Suffolk politicians are on full general election alert as Prime Minister Boris Johnson presses ahead with his plans to pull out of the EU by the end of October.

Sandy Martin was only selected to stand for Ipswich after the election had been called - but he scor

Sandy Martin was only selected to stand for Ipswich after the election had been called - but he scored a famous victory in 2017. Picture by ASHLEY PICKERING - Credit: Ashley Pickering

No-one seems to have any clear idea of when the new Premier might go to the country - but all accept that a polling day before final Brexit is possible.

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, who returned to the Conservative backbenches after ceasing to be Parliamentary Private Secretary to former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said: "I would like to think the next general election would be in May 2022 (which is when it is scheduled) but I suspect it will be a lot sooner than that.

"I really don't know what the Prime Minister is thinking on this - and we shall have to see what happens in the autumn.

"The party conference is due in the autumn and I'm planning to go. But I've booked a hotel room that can be cancelled 24 hours before I arrive, just in case."

Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrat Julia Ewart. Picture: SUFFOLK COASTAL LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrat Julia Ewart. Picture: SUFFOLK COASTAL LIBERAL DEMOCRATS - Credit: Archant


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Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin said he had no idea when Mr Johnson may be calling the election - but the party was ready whenever the starting pistol was fired.

He said: "I'm very bad at predicting when elections will be held, but the party has worked hard to ensure it has candidates in marginal seats so we are ready whenever the campaign begins."

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In 2017 the party was wrong-footed by Theresa May's sudden decision to call an election. It had to use a shortened selection process - Mr Martin himself was not selected until the campaign was up and running in Ipswich.

He pointed out: "The Ipswich Party has elections every year so it's always campaigning and ready."

Julia Ewart will be contesting Suffolk Coastal for the Liberal Democrats. She said her supporters were ready if there was a snap election.

"No one knows when it will happen, but we're getting a lot of good people joining us and we'll be ready for the election whenever."

Mr Johnson has said he is not looking to hold a general election this year and experts believe it will be very difficult for him to fit one in before the UK is due to leave the EU on October 31.

But if he finds MPs are being difficult when the return to Westminster in September, he may have no option but to go for an early poll to try to push Brexit through.

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