Tories ditch Yeo in secret ballot

MSFP Tim Yeo
MSFP Tim Yeo

South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo is fighting for his political life after being de-selected by local Tories.

The executive body of his local party, the South Suffolk Conservative Association, voted not to reselect him as its candidate, in a secret ballot held on Friday night.

He now has the option of challenging the decision and calling for a ballot of all association members.

Failing that, he will not be able to stand in his present role in the 2015 general election and will be replaced as a Tory candidate by a new candidate yet to be selected.

A spokeswoman from his office told the Free Press this week that Mr Yeo will not be making a statement on his future until next week.

Mr Yeo has been the sitting MP for 30 years.

The South Suffolk Conservative Association had delayed the ballot pending a report by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner into national newspaper claims that Mr Yeo had offered to coach a potential witness due to appear in front of the House of Commons energy and climate change select committee, which he chairs.

Mr Yeo denied the claims and referred himself to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, which cleared him of any wrongdoing last month.

Mr Yeo is a strong supporter of renewable energy, including wind turbines.

Jane Basham, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for the area, said: “It is important that we acknowledge Tim Yeo’s modernist perspective on environmental issues.

“However, overwhelmingly voters in South Suffolk tell me they feel Tim Yeo is very absent from his constituency. People say that they want a full-time MP who will focus on the needs of all the people of south Suffolk.”