Suffolk: Tories’ EU argument infuriates poll rivals

Christopher Hudson

Christopher Hudson - Credit: Contributed

TORIES in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich have called for the Government to bring forward a referendum on the future of Britain’s position in the EU to before the 2015 general election.

The move comes as parties step up their campaign for the 75 seats on the county council – with some Tories fearing that a strong UKIP performance could cost them votes and seats.

Constituency chairman Christopher Hudson, who is seeking re-election as county councillor for Kesgrave, said: “We Conservatives in this constituency are assuring voters in our area that we are committed to give voters a clear choice on our country’s membership of the EU.

“It is vital that we connect with the people on this central issue ASAP. This matter will not be determined by the county council but by the sovereign will of Parliament.

“Our pledge to voters in this area is genuine, serious, democratic and will indicate grass-roots reaction to this EU membership issue.”

UKIP spokesman Stuart Gulleford was not impressed by the Tories’ move. He said: “This is a blatant attempt at trying to get votes from UKIP supporters.

“We haven’t raised the EU or the referendum because it is not relevant to these elections – but we’re getting a lot of support. Sometimes it’s difficult to find people who aren’t voting UKIP.”

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His party is fighting the county council elections with a specific local election manifesto – and is hoping to build on the one seat it won in the 2009 poll which was held on the same day as the European elections.