Cabinet minister Tom Tugendhat joined Conservatives from across the Suffolk/Norfolk divide to launch the party's first ever campaign in the new Waveney Valley seat.

The National Security Minster joined Tory candidate Richard Rout and his supporters in Harleston - half a mile over the border into Norfolk.

Waveney Valley is the new cross border seat that includes Eye, Stowupland, Stradbroke and Bungay in Suffolk along with Diss and Harleston in Norfolk.

Many see it as safe Conservative territory - but the Green Party has it as one of its four national targets. Notional polls based on previous elections suggest that Labour is actually in second place here.

Mr Tugendhat urged the party members to go out and campaign for Mr Rout because there needed to be a strong rural voice in the next House of Commons.

Richard Rout and Tom Tugendhat with supporters in Harleston.Richard Rout and Tom Tugendhat with supporters in Harleston. (Image: Paul Geater)

And he said that with the challenges the country and the world was facing, there needed to be an experienced figure like Rishi Sunak in Downing Street: "The choice is between Rishi, who has a clear plan to go forward and Keir Starmer who is changing his policies all the time!"

Mr Rout, who was deputy leader of Suffolk County Council until last month, has been visiting towns and villages across the constituency with his dachshund Claude in tow.

The Conservative launch comes days after the Green Party launched its campaign in Diss. Its co-leader Adrian Ramsay is hoping to take the seat.

Labour's candidate Gurpreet Padda launched her campaign with supporters in Eye at the end of last week.

Waveney Valley Labour members launched their campaign in Eye.Waveney Valley Labour members launched their campaign in Eye. (Image: Waveney Valley Labour Party)

This week's YouGov MRP poll predicted that the Conservatives would win the seat with Labour in second but with the Green Party in a strong third place.

But the Greens have done very well in local elections in Suffolk in recent years - and have recently won two by-elections in south Norfolk council wards.