Esther: Blears right not to go
July 30, 2009
PROSPECTIVE MP Esther Rantzen has backed Hazel Blears’ decision not to quit Parliament in the wake of the expenses scandal.
The TV presenter, who has announced plans to stand on an anti-sleaze ticket at the next general election, backed the under-fire Salford MP on a visit to Manchester.
She said politicians do ‘good work in the community’, deserve a ‘second chance’ and should be judged by the voters on polling day.
Esther, founder and president of ChildLine, spoke about her bid to become an MP in Luton as she met volunteers at the charity’s refurbished call centre in Manchester.
The former That’s Life star said: “I think people want to see politicians who have not sought a professional career in politics, who have had careers elsewhere. I think all of us feel that. Parliament’s been a private club too long.”
Esther plans to stand for Parliament as an independent in Luton South, the seat being vacated by MP Margaret Moran over her expenses.
But Esther backed Hazel Blears’s decision not to resign her seat when she stepped down from the government in the wake of the expenses scandal.
Mrs Blears was criticised for avoiding a capital gains tax bill of more than £13,000 on the sale of a flat in London. She later repaid the money.
Asked what she thought, Esther said: “It’s important the voters have a chance to decide. If someone is doing extremely good work locally, they deserve a second chance.”