According to certain commentators Michael Gove has pulled off a good compromise over the behaviour and publicity associated with the MP for Bury St Edmunds, David Ruffley who has announced via his website that he will no longer stand as the candidate for the seat in May’s General Election, despite previously being reselected. The personal life of Mr Ruffley had led to something of a challenge for the Party, bearing in mind its focus on addressing Domestic Violence and his admission last week that he had been cautioned by Suffolk Police for attacking his girlfriend. This is why the Party launched an inquiry on 24th July which may have influenced Mr Ruffley in his decision. It is clear that the National Party and Local Association are likely to be pleased with this solution, it may prevent the need for the inquiry to report its findings and one assumes that local residents and other concerned citizens will now be expected to be satisfied too! Although many of these folk were calling for the MP to resign, it is clear that a by-election this close to the Party Conferences and whilst so many of us are on holiday would not be an attractive proposition for any of the parties. There would also be a cost to taxpayers!
Whatever the causes, it is clear that Mr Ruffley has lost the confidence of some local residents. The decision by their MP has prevented them from deciding what should happen regarding his future, yet leaves them represented by him until May. They cannot hold him accountable for his actions as their MP over the last 4 years in May, whatever their dissatisfaction now. This outcome is one that is a poor reflection of any sense of honour amongst so called honourable members of our place of national Government. It is clear that David Ruffley blames the press for his decision to leave Parliament in May 2015 based on his letter and his decision is timed to achieve minimum disruption now and in his view to make a Conservative election win more likely. Honour according to one on-line dictionary is “The quality of knowing and doing what is morally right”. Depending on David Ruffleys judgement, surely the right thing to do is either to resign immediately, or to remain and fight the next General Election as the Conservative Candidate. Honour is not as his letter suggests setting the re-election of David Cameron’s Conservative Party as being the most important matter, bar none.