Breaking: MP David Ruffley announces he ‘will not stand again at the next general election’

David Ruffley MP. David Ruffley MP.

Monday, July 28, 2014
8:48 PM

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley, who apologised after receiving a police caution for common assault involving his former partner, will stand down at the 2015 general election.

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David Ruffley confirmed in a letter to his local Conservative Association that he will not stand for re-election next year, saying the “protracted media debate” on his private life would not serve the interests of the party in his constituency.

Mr Ruffley also said he was not willing to continue to sustain the “unrelenting orchestrated intrusion into my private life”.

The MP for Bury St Edmunds revealed last week that he had apologised to his former partner for the March incident, which led to him accepting a caution for common assault.

Mr Ruffley said the woman had accepted his apology and stressed that he did not condone domestic violence “under any circumstances”.

Today, writing to Andrew Speed, the chairman of the Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association, Mr Ruffley said: “Sadly, although I have apologised for a very regrettable incident last March and both my former partner and I considered the matter closed, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a protracted media debate on my private life, whatever the motivation or however misinformed, would not serve the wider interests of the Conservative cause in East Anglia.

“Nor at a human level am I prepared to continue to sustain the unrelenting orchestrated intrusion into my personal life.”

The former shadow police minister went on to say he was standing down with a “heavy heart”.

Mr Ruffley was referred by the Conservative Party to chief whip Michael Gove for investigation last week after he revealed his apology to his former partner.

Mr Gove said tonight he was sorry to see Mr Ruffley standing down.

The chief whip said: “David Ruffley MP has given a huge amount to Parliament both on the Opposition front bench and as an outstanding member of the Treasury Select Committee.

“I am sorry that he will be standing down at the general election in May 2015, but fully respect his reasons.”

Mr Ruffley, who has represented the seat since 1997, was given leave from the party in 2010 after suffering minor injuries when he was hit by a train at Victoria station in London.

At the time he was reported to be suffering from depression.

He said in his letter tonight that he will never forget how his constituency stood by him.

Mr Ruffley wrote: “I will never forget the way the constituency stood by me while I recovered from a particularly difficult period of ill health four years ago.

“Equally I have been enormously grateful for the kindness and generosity of spirit shown to me in recent weeks by so many constituents and most of all for the loyal support from the tremendous members of the Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association.”

Mr Ruffley had been under pressure in his constituency over the incident, with a senior Church of England cleric warning that he had “lost the confidence” of voters in the Suffolk town, while the county’s police and crime commissioner described behaviour of the kind for which he apologised as “inexcusable”.

5 comments

  • David Ruffley now has a Police record and is effectively losing his job for being caught up in the sort of domestic incident that could happen to most of us. What annoys me most is the sniping coming from the labour party and others, including a senior person in the Church who should know better.

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    blue tractor

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • The good old mob rules again. None of us knows what went on between him and his ex. But as usual, start the ball rolling on social media web sites and anyone can be brought down. Whose next? You.

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    BG

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • What a fine upstanding man. Standing down for the good of the party due to "protracted media debate". Not because he actually received a police caution for violent behaviour towards his partner. Why is it that politicians hog the media limelight when they wish to tell their untruths.

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    norman hall

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • Instead of showing some sort of backbone, that utter reptile Gove decides to come out with some sort of miserable self-serving flannel that reminds us all why he's been parked in a political cul-de-sac. If I was to give Ruffley 'a slap' I'd be in prison for assault so why isn't he?

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    Fenscape 2

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • A bit of good news. No loss to anyone in East Anglia

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    Metalhead

    Monday, July 28, 2014

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