MP’s deselection is backed by party vote

Tim Yeo, centre, visiting Hadleigh businesses as part of a 'Keep Trade Local' campaign
Tim Yeo, centre, visiting Hadleigh businesses as part of a 'Keep Trade Local' campaign
Have your say

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

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

Simon Barrett, who was on the association’s executive committee that chose not to readopt Mr Yeo, in December, said he had not been active enough in the area.

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

“We now need to get behind a new candidate and get the right person for the job.”

Mr Yeo, 68, who has been an MP since 1983, had been criticised for using his position to take up roles on the boards of green energy companies, and for living in Sandwich, Kent.

Over the last year, he earned more than £130,000 from outside interests.

David Cameron wrote that it would be a ‘great loss’ to the party if Mr Yeo was not reselected.

Peter Beer, a Conservative district and county councillor for Great Cornard, said he felt it was the right decision.

He said: “Lessons need to be learned from this about MPs taking other jobs and getting paid.

“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 South Suffolk’s MP.

He added: “I am immensely grateful to all those Conservative party members who voted for me to continue as their MP.

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