'Appalled' Esther Rantzen to stand as MP after expenses scandal

Charlotte Newton THE television presenter and journalist Esther Rantzen has revealed that she plans to stand against a Labour MP who claimed �22,500 in expenses to treat dry rot in her second home. Ms Rantzen told the Ham&High on Thursday (May 14) that s

Charlotte Newton

THE television presenter and journalist Esther Rantzen has revealed that she plans to stand against a Labour MP who claimed �22,500 in expenses to treat dry rot in her second home.

Ms Rantzen told the Ham&High on Thursday (May 14) that she may stand as an independent candidate against Margaret Moran in Luton South, after she spent �22,500 treating dry rot in her husband's Southampton home.

Ms Moran submitted the claim just days after making her husband's house her second home.


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Although the Labour MP has agreed to pay back the money she is facing a backlash in her constituency where she has a narrow 5,650 majority.

Ms Rantzen said she was appalled and fascinated by the latest revelations on MPs' expenses.

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She said: "There are some very good people in every party but there are also some very greedy people and like everybody else I'm appalled and fascinated by what's been coming out.

"It did make me think that maybe I should offer myself to the voters of Luton South as I already have a house in Southampton. I could drive from Hampstead or get the train to the constituency so I wouldn't need a second property."

"I happen to think being an MP is a very important and valuable job so it's very sad to see what is going on because people are cynical enough already," she said.

Ms Ranzten, 68, said that she hoped to follow in the footsteps of the journalist Martin Bell. He stood as an independent in Tatton, Cheshire and famously unseated Tory Neil Hamilton who had been embroiled in sleaze allegations.

"Like Martin Bell, I believe that my background as a journalist would make it very satisfying. I'd like to be able to support victims of injustice and feel I was giving them a voice."

For the full story see the Ham&High on Thursday.

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