Why Conservatives did not contest the Walpoles

PUBLISHED: 12:47 04 May 2007 | UPDATED: 20:01 01 June 2010

A NUMBER of people have been asking why the Conservatives did not put forward a candidate for the Walpoles Ward in yesterday s council elections. Although we were contesting 61 out of the 62 seats on the Borough Council of King s Lynn and West Norfolk (in

A NUMBER of people have been asking why the Conservatives did not put forward a candidate for the Walpoles Ward in yesterday's council elections.

Although we were contesting 61 out of the 62 seats on the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk (in stark contrast to the Labour Party who were contesting only 27 seats), we decided not to put a candidate up against Councillor Ann Clery-Fox, the sitting Lib-Dem councillor for the Walpoles, for the following reasons.

First of all, she was serving as the mayor of the borough and has to observe strict political neutrality. Although there are examples of the mayor's ward being contested in the past, it is always very difficult for the sitting mayor to carry out the necessary civic duties while running a political campaign.

The second reason we did not contest Ann's ward is that she has made it clear she has always supported me 100 per cent, and will continue to do so in the future.

Ann proved to be one of the most outstanding borough mayors in recent years. Everyone who has come into contact with her has been immensely impressed with her dedication and ability. Obviously, my constituents in the Walpoles are very fortunate in having someone of her calibre to represent them.

HENRY BELLINGHAM MP

House of Commons

London

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