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Party members oust MP in ballot that signals the end

ON THE WAY OUT: South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo has been deselected by members of his party and will not stand as an election candidate in 2015.

ON THE WAY OUT: South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo has been deselected by members of his party and will not stand as an election candidate in 2015.

A lack of time spent in his constituency, along with growing financial interests outside politics, led to the deselection of MP Tim Yeo, according to party members.

The South Suffolk Conservative MP will not stand as a candidate in next year’s general election after being defeated in a secret ballot.

Around 600 members of the South Suffolk Conservative Association voted, with the result revealed on Monday afternoon. There was an 82 per cent turnout of members with Mr Yeo believed to have lost by 35 votes.

Simon Barrett, who was among the association’s executive committee, which chose not to readopt the 68-year-old in December, said he had not been active enough in the area.

“People do not want a Suffolk MP based in London and Kent,” said Mr Barrett, owner of Barrett-Lee garage in Sudbury.

“The democratic process has come out and we now need to get behind a new candidate and get the right person for the job.”

Mr Yeo, who has been an MP since 1983, had been criticised for using his position to take up lucrative roles on the boards of green energy companies, and for living in Sandwich, Kent.

Prime Minister David Cameron had said in a letter of support that it would be a “great loss” to the party if Mr Yeo was not reselected, but even this backing could not save him.

Peter Beer, a Conservative district and county councillor for Great Cornard, said he felt the correct decision had been made.

“Lessons need to be learned from this about MPs taking other jobs and getting paid,” he said.

“A new candidate needs to be wise to that and I would like to see someone younger, and from the area, come in.”

In a statement, Mr Yeo said it had been a privilege to serve as MP for South Suffolk.

“I am immensely grateful to all those Conservative party members who voted for me to continue as their MP,” he said.

“I now ask them all to campaign for my successor with the same loyalty and dedication they have shown to me.”

 

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