Wait is on to find Yeo replacement

Latest politics news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest politics news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

The candidate to replace ousted MP Tim Yeo within the South Suffolk Conservative Association may not be in position until the summer.

Mr Yeo was de-selected following a ballot of around 600 members earlier this month and will not stand as a candidate for the general election next year.

Figures within the association are keen for a new candidate for the role of South Suffolk MP to be brought in quickly, but despite interest in the position that may not be possible.

“We have had contact from a number of people, but we do not know when the process will start,” said Peter Burgoyne, agent for the Conservative Association, based in Sudbury.

“There have been half-a-dozen firm enquiries and a further 20 general enquiries. But it is doubtful there will be anyone in place before the European Elections on May 22, so June is more likely.”

Mr Yeo has been MP for the area for 30 years, but has drawn criticism for the lack of time he has spent in the constituency recently – preferring to live mainly at his home in Kent and only occasionally visit his East Bergholt residence. The number of outside interests the 68-year-old was involved with also angered many.

It is hoped a new candidate will live closer to Sudbury.

“We want someone who knows the area and is a bit younger,” said Simon Barrett, vice-chairman of the association and owner of Barrett-Lee garage in Byford Road.

“It is about getting the right candidate for the role.”

Any new candidate will face competition from the Green Party for the first time.

It announced on Friday that Bildeston Parish councillor Robert Lindsey had been selected as a candidate for the position of South Suffolk MP.