Ipswich MP Ben Gummer took time off from writing the Tory manifesto to launch his own campaign for re-election, along with MP colleagues from across Suffolk, over the weekend.
Mr Gummer launched his campaign while other parties were still scrambling to find a candidate, such was the surprise at the calling of a General Election despite repeated rejections of the idea by the Prime Minister.
At the launch event on Saturday, Mr Gummer said:
“It is an honour to have been selected as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Ipswich. Today – joined by Suffolk MPs – we launched our campaign in Chantry.
“Over the past two years we have achieved so much. We have new buildings for Ipswich Academy and Chantry Academy; we have witnessed multi-million pound renovations of our two shopping centres alongside a transformation of the shops on our high street; we have secured £1.4 billion worth of investment for our trains, we are drawing up initial proposals for a Northern Route and soon, the Upper Orwell Crossings will reduce traffic in the town.
“There is, however, much more to do to complete the regeneration of our town and provide the opportunities that all residents in Ipswich deserve. I would be honoured to be asked to continue to represent you and our town as your Member of Parliament.”
Mr Gummer will expect to be held to account on his six pledges from the 2015 General Election – although there will be a recognition that given the election is three years earlier than expected, some of these pledges will show little progress.
Who holds Mr Gummer to account for his promises two years ago is yet to be decided. While Jane Basham’s nomination for the Labour PPC post has been submitted, there will be others interested and she faces a fierce fight to gain the nomination – no doubt why she was swift to tell Spy she now lives in Ipswich, although until recently was registered to vote in South Suffolk. Spy expects Sandy Martin may well put his name forward, and Neil Macdonald stood for selection last time. There will also no doubt be nominees from outside Ipswich who consider the seat worth a fight. While these would have little chance in normal circumstances, local Labour members won’t be running this selection, so who the Regional Office chooses might not be the person most likely to be supported by local activists.