Terry Waite may stand as an MP

by
19 August 2009

by Bill Bowder

PA

PA

TERRY WAITE, a former secretary for Anglican Communion affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and a Beirut hostage 20 years ago, may stand as an independent parli­amentary can­did­ate at the next election, it em­erged this week, . On Wednesday, a spokes­­woman for Mr Waite, who is overseas, con­firmed that he was considering the move along with the former BBC journalist and in­depend­ent MP, Martin Bell; but “he hasn’t made a de­cision one way or another,” she said.

Mr Bell told the BBC on Monday that the two men had teamed up after Mr Waite wrote a newspaper article arguing for more independ­ent par­liamentary candidates. He had written that independent MPs “won’t have all the answers, but they may well bring some fresh air into a political hot­house that has been suffocating for far too long”.

The pair had considered fielding a team of independent candidates as well as standing themselves, Mr Bell said. Their idea was to target con­stitu­encies where MPs had been “named and shamed” over their ex­penses.

The plan was a “quiet conspiracy between old chums” rather than a new political party, he said. He had not ruled out standing, although, he said, “I think I am a bit old, at 70, to be the piston rods of revolution.” Mr Waite “may have a go himself”.

Mr Bell was an independent MP for four years after defeating the Con­servative MP Neil Hamilton, in 1997. The former TV presenter Esther Rantzen has announced that she will fight Luton South, where Mar­garet Moran MP was criticised over her parliamentary expenses.

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