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Police chief voices his concerns over behaviour of MP

Tim Passmore
Tim Passmore

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner has also voiced his concerns over the behaviour of David Ruffley.

Tim Passmore said such behaviour was "inexcusable". In a statement, he said:

It was particularly disturbing for me to hear that one of our Suffolk Members of Parliament accepted a police caution for a domestic abuse offence which, I understand, took place in London a while ago. I would like to make it absolutely clear that domestic abuse is never acceptable under any circumstance. The future of David Ruffley as a Member of Parliament and prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for the Bury St Edmunds constituency is a matter for their association but I hope I have made my views entirely clear - such behaviour is inexcusable. Those of us in a leadership role in society must do our level best at all times and try to set a good example to others in what we do and how we behave - that includes all politicians regardless of any party affiliation.

In my opinion there cannot and must not be any hiding place for the perpetrators of such brutal crimes."

– Tim Passmore

Pressure mounts on MP after Dean's call for him to resign

The letter to David Ruffley
Letter from the Dean of St Edmundsbury

The letter which sparked the calls for David Ruffley to quit as the MP for Bury St Edmunds was sent by the Dean of St Edmundsbury, Frances Ward.

In the letter the Dean says that Mr Ruffley's position is now untenable. she says:

I had received sufficient comment and concern from a wide circle of people, both within the Cathedral and through the town and county, to have arrived at the opinion that your position is untenable.

– Letter to David Ruffley

The letter goes on to question his version of events.

On Monday, on the phone, I heard your lengthy justification and defence of yourself, but I think I need to question your version of events. You tried to convince me that in the 'incident' back in March there was blame on both sides... I cannot let you try and tell me that it was only 'a little local incident' or that she was at fault. I must remind you of the seriousness of the assault and that you were arrested, not her.

– Letter to David Ruffley

The letter goes on to urge the MP to seek professional help and to "come to terms with his behaviour". The letter ends by saying it was her belief that Mr Ruffley had lost the confidence of a significant proportion of his former supporters.

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MP apologises for "Inappropriate action"

David Ruffley
The underfire MP has responded to calls for his resignation Credit: ITV News

A Suffolk Tory MP has apologised for his "inappropriate action" after being given a police caution for common assault following an incident between him and his former partner.

Former shadow police minister David Ruffley said his partner had accepted his apology for the March incident.

The Bury St Edmunds MP stressed that he did not condone domestic violence "under any circumstances".

In a statement issued through his lawyers Kingsley Napley, Mr Ruffley said:

In March this year, an incident occurred between me and my former partner, resulting in inappropriate action on my part, which I deeply regret, in respect of which I accepted a police caution for common assault. Some time later, I telephoned my former partner to apologise. I am pleased to be able to say that she has accepted my apology. I have refrained from making any public statement on this matter as it is a deeply personal matter. It is my understanding that my former partner wishes the incident to remain private." I wish to stress that I would never condone domestic violence under any circumstances."

– David Ruffley

His local Conservative association is reportedly due to meet to discuss the issue next week amid suggestions he is losing support in his Bury St Edmunds constituency.

Suffolk MP David Ruffley faces crisis meeting following assault caution

David Ruffley.
David Ruffley. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The MP for Bury St Edmunds, David Ruffley, faces a grilling by his local conservative association after he was cautioned for a reported assault on his former girlfriend.

Mr Ruffley has been the town's MP since 1997. He was given the police caution after officers were called to an address in London in March.

So far the former shadow police minister has not commented publicly on the incident.

His local conservative association are due to hold a meeting with him next week to discuss the issue.

Bury St Edmunds: Local hospice to benefit from rugby club's epic cycling effort

The money raised by Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club will be handed over today.
The money raised by Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club will be handed over today. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A cheque for £155,000 is being handed over today after a cycling event in memory of an air disaster 40 years ago.

Cyclists rode from France to Bury St Edmunds in memory of the 18 members of their local rugby club who died in a plane crash in 1974.

The money is being presented to the St Nicholas Hospice and Haberden Trust in Bury St Edmunds.

The plane crashed at Ermenonville in France in 1974.

Read more: Rugby club pays respects to crash victims

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Tributes paid to former Bury St Edmunds MP

Sir Eldon Griffiths pictured while a Government minister in 1973 Credit: PA

Tributes have been paid to former Bury St Edmunds MP Sir Eldon Griffiths who has died aged 89.

In a statement on the St Edmundsbury Borough Council website his son Cllr John Griffiths, leader of the council said:

"A very bright light flickered and then went out earlier this morning. Not just for me and the rest of my family but for so many others whose lives my father touched.

"He will, I trust, be remembered not just for his many achievements but, more importantly, perhaps, for making life better for a multitude of people of all ages, walks of life and nationality."

Eldon Griffiths was elected Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds in a by-election in 1964 and served for 28 years until he retired in 1992.

Snowboarder died after "fluke" accident

Emily Watts Credit: Suffolk Police

A snowboarder from Suffolk died after becoming trapped in deep snow on a mountain in France, an inquest has heard.

Emily Watts, known as Mimi, was airlifted to hospital in Annecy after the accident at nearby Chamonix on December 8, 2012. She died five days later.

An inquest at Bury St Edmunds heard that Emily had been returning alone down a ski slope when she plunged into deep fresh snow from which it was impossible to get out.

Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean said reports compiled by the French authorities showed that Emily had suffered a cardiac arrest.

The accident was described as a "complete fluke," by a French police officer who said he had never seen a similar one in his 25 years service in the resort.Investigators had been unable to explain what caused the accident but it was clear that Emily had not been off piste.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Dr Dean said: "This appears to have been a tragic accident. There was no evidence of her behaving in a careless or reckless manner. This was an accident which happened to someone who was an experienced snowboarder."

Neonatal care unit left ‘generous’ £335,000 donation

West Suffolk Hospital. Credit: PA Images

Premature babies and other newborns who need specialist care are set to benefit from a £335,000 pound donation to West Suffolk Hospital's neonatal unit.

The money was gifted to the hospital in a will, and earmarked specifically for use in the unit. A decision on what it will be spent on will be made over the next few months.

The donation comes after similar gift of £200,000 was made in 2011, which was used to improve the care offered to breast cancer patients by bringing assessment, imaging and diagnostic services into one place in the new integrated breast unit.

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