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Ipswich General Election 2024: Jack Abbott is the new MP as Labour wrests control from Conservatives





Labour has wrested control of Ipswich after five years of being represented by the Conservatives.

Jack Abbott is the new MP for the Ipswich constituency, following tonight's count at the Corn Exchange.

He secured the win with 19,099 votes, beating out Conservative incumbent Tom Hunt, who scored 11,696 – a majority of more than 7,400.

Jack Abbott is the new MP for Ipswich. Picture: Ash Jones
Jack Abbott is the new MP for Ipswich. Picture: Ash Jones

In third place was Tony Love, of Reform, with 7,027 votes, while 3,652 people voted for Adria Pittock of the Green Party.

This was followed by the Lib Dem candidate James Sandbach, who scored 2,241 followed by Freddie Sofar, of the Communist Party, with 205 votes.

Finally, was the Heritage Party candidate, Terence Charles, with 151.

Celebrating his victory, Mr Abbott thanked everyone who voted for him.

“I feel so humbled to be standing where I am now, and I won’t let you down,” he said.

“And to all those that didn’t vote for me, I will serve you diligently and tirelessly too. No more politics of division. We are going to bring Ipswich together.

Tom Hunt, Conservative candidate for Ipswich. Picture: UK Parliament
Tom Hunt, Conservative candidate for Ipswich. Picture: UK Parliament

“I stood at this General Election because I am proud of Ipswich, because I know we have such potential, and because I want to deliver the change we all so desperately need. Now, it is up to me to make those promises a reality.

“People can’t wait for change, and that’s why I’ll be getting to work immediately, to put an end to the chaos of the last 14 years.

“No more sticking plasters. No more gimmicks. Instead, we will have leadership, unity and ambition, plus a lot of hard work. In short, I will be returning this office to one of public service.”

Tony Love, from Reform UK, came third in the election. Picture: Ash Jones
Tony Love, from Reform UK, came third in the election. Picture: Ash Jones

Mr Abbott said his values were those shared by his party and its leader, Sir Keir Starmer.

He said: “Keir has transformed our party, from one focused on itself to one back in the service of the British people. We have campaigned as a changed Labour Party, ready to change Britain. Country before party. Each and every time.

“Ipswich voted for change, now we will get to work to deliver a new future for our town.”

Adria Pittock, of the Green Party, came fourth. Picture: Ash Jones
Adria Pittock, of the Green Party, came fourth. Picture: Ash Jones

Labour last won Ipswich in the 2017 General Election, when Sandy Martin secured 24,235, unseating Ben Gummer.

Tom Hunt, who came second, said it was a disappointing result for the Tories.

However, he said it was a privilege to have served as MP for Ipswich since 2019.

James Sandbach, from the Lib Dems, came fifth. Picture: Ash Jones
James Sandbach, from the Lib Dems, came fifth. Picture: Ash Jones

Mr Hunt said: “I knew it would be a difficult election going into it. I was realistic about my chances and I think the national context was incredibly challenging. We’re seeing losses that were, perhaps, less expected than this one.

“But we fought a really hard campaign, I spoke to thousands of people on the doorsteps, but we were held by people’s perception of the Conservative Party and the performance of the Government.”

As for what was next, Mr Hunt said he would take a few days to catch up on sleep.

Freddie Sofar, from the Communist Party of Britain, came sixth. Picture: Ash Jones
Freddie Sofar, from the Communist Party of Britain, came sixth. Picture: Ash Jones

However, he did not rule out standing for office in the future.

Mr Hunt added: “I was a very green 30-year-old when I was elected in 2019 and the things I’m passionate about, I haven’t stopped being passionate about and I think I still have a strong desire to be involved in politics, both in the short term and long term.

“Part of me will always be with this town and it will always be part of me. But I don’t know what will happen next.

Terence Charles, from the Heritage Party, came seventh. Picture: Ash Jones
Terence Charles, from the Heritage Party, came seventh. Picture: Ash Jones

“I’m 35, I still have the rest of my life, so it’s highly likely I’ll stand again for office.”

Tony Love, of Reform UK, said he expected Mr Abbott to do his best for Ipswich.

“It must be acknowledged that Tom Hunt was also a good MP for Ipswich,” he said.

“But for the Reform Party, this is more national for us, that we establish ourselves as a major force in the country. We will go on to replace the Conservative Party and we will stand at the centre-right of politics where we will succeed.”

Adria Pittock, of the Green Party, told SuffolkNews she was thrilled as her party secured a record number of votes in Ipswich.

She said: “We’ve done fantastically well. I’m really pleased that we’ve come fourth and knocked out the Lib Dems, I’m so thrilled with the team who have been helping.

“I think people are getting to the stage where people realise what the Greens are saying is really important and that we’re serious about the environment, about community, serious about improving the world for everyone – the message is starting to get through.”

James Sandbach, the Liberal Democrat candidate said he was pleased for Mr Abbott and that he’d be a great MP.

Mr Sandbach said he’d fought a good campaign.

He told SuffolkNews: “We’ve done better than we have before, we’ve saved our deposit, whereas in the last few elections we’d lost it, so we’ve made significant progress.

“But, the main issue I raised was all about the divisive rhetoric of the past four years and I really hope that Jack takes the opportunity to do as he said in his speech and be a voice of unity in bring the community together.

“That really matters in politics.”

Freddie Sofar, from the Communist Party of Britain, said he was very pleased with his results.

He gained double the amount of votes he expected, he revealed.

“A lot of people behind-the-scenes, in my party, my fellow comrades, expected about 100 votes, so I’m very happy with that, I know Adria Pittock felt the same.

“I think we’re decently happy with the results.

“This is the end of this campaign, but the start of another.”

Terence Charles, the Heritage Party candidate, said he would help and support Mr Abbot as he had previously done with Mr Hunt.

Mr Charles said: “I believe the time of division is at an end and we need to unite and work together as a community, so I’ll continue to help whoever’s the MP, which in this case, is Jack. Jack, you’ve got my support.

“I’m disappointed with the results, but someone had to finish last.”