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Your chance to stand as a candidate in the 2010 General Election


duckThink you can do a better job in Parliament than your duck-house, wisteria-clearing expense-claiming MP?

Well there’s still time to put yourself forward to stand as an independent candidate in the 2010 General Election under a competition being run by book publisher Ebury – and it won’t cost you a penny.

Ebury has put up £1,000 to cover the cost of an electoral deposit as well as campaign expenses for an independent candidate who will be chosen by comedian Mark Thomas and will run under the banner of the left-wing comic’s People’s Manifesto.

The idea was thought up by Thomas to promote his touring stage show the People’s Manifesto, which is also a BBC Radio 4 series and now a book.

Is it time to give Guy Fawkes a break?


BRITAIN/It’s bonfire night, and once again poor old Guido gets it.

Up and down the country he will be burned in effigy for the dastardly crime of trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament over 400 years ago.

But wait — after all the moats, duck houses and house-flipping of the past 12 months, should it not now be conceded that he might have had a point, even if his methods were a little extreme?

Should Esther Rantzen stand for parliament?


Television host, journalist and reality TV star Esther Rantzen is to stand as an independent candidate in the Luton South constituency at the next election.

Rantzen’s interest in running for office was sparked after the seat’s Labour MP Margaret Moran was caught up in the parliamentary expenses scandal.

Tabloid trickery versus the right to know


Probity is Britain’s new watchword. After filleting the bankers over their salaries and bonuses and excoriating MPs for fiddling their expenses we’ve now turned our attention to the antics of journalists.

The News of the World (NOTW) has frequently embarrassed politicians, vicars, footballers and celebrities, but the Sunday red-top is currently itself the target of an expose by a broadsheet.

Is the Queen worth 69p a year?


“Don’t give the Queen any more of our money, Republic, the campaign for an elected head of state, pleads in a statement on its website.

Royal expenditures rose 1.5 percent to 41.5 million pounds in the last financial year, after allowing for inflation.

MPs shoot themselves in foot over expenses


The online release of MPs’ expense claims has only served to further dent their already battered reputation.

Forty-two days after the Daily Telegraph began to investigate MPs’ expenses the Houses of Parliament finally got round to publishing official details of them. Or rather it didn’t, as lots of key information was blacked out.

Speaker election gets X-Factor makeover


The winds of change are sweeping through a dusty Houses of Parliament as the race to succeed the Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin hots up.

With MPs trying to get their house in order as the expenses scandal rumbles on, the election procedure for the new Speaker has had a makeover, with election hustings to take place for the first time.

Is there any way out for Gordon Brown?


The Guardian newspaper, normally a Labour supporter, has decided Gordon Brown must go.

“It’s time to cut him loose,” it declares in an editorial that goes on: “The public is calling furiously for a better system. People want an honest parliament. They want leaders who are prepared to act. They loathe the old system, and many of the people who are part of it.”

MPs Kirkbride and Moran fall on swords


The expenses scandal has claimed two more victims – one from each side of the House.

Labour MP for Luton South Margaret Moran has announced that she will stand down at the next election, while Conservative MP Julie Kirkbride will no longer represent her Bromsgrove constituency after the likely 2010 poll.

UK MPs’ expenses: who’s next?


The scandal engulfing British members of parliament over their often startling expenses claims has started to bring down some prominent victims: the speaker of the House of Commons, two Labour Party MPs and four from the Conservatives at time of writing.

The Daily Telegraph, which obtained a disk containing unexpurgated details of claims for moat dredging, floating duck houses, plasma screen televisions and reimbursement for mortgages long paid off, is now on Day 19 of its unremittingly lurid revelations.