Bellamy joins Sir James

David Bellamy, the TV botanist with a lisp, a liking for bogs and a line in wild gesticulations, was unveiled yesterday as the Referendum Party's secret weapon against John Major.

Sir James Goldsmith, its leader, announced that Dr Bellamy is the party's choice to take on the Prime Minister at Huntingdon in the General Election.

It makes no difference that the environmental campaigner has never voted and has no wish for power. "He is one of our greatest botanists, writers, broadcasters and campaigners for the environment, a lover of the English countryside and a great lecturer," said Sir James, introducing him to 400 of his fellow prospective parliamentary candidates at a rally in Manchester.

"He is a founder of the Conservation Foundation and his infectious love of nature has inspired millions and made him into the figure that he is. He is a great asset to the party, who is enormously respected."

Dr Bellamy said: "I have watched Mr Major on Prime Minister's question time and I would hate to be Prime Minister. What an awful job for bad pay - to stand there and get that c--p thrown at you twice a week!"

As to Huntingdon, he said he was familiar with the ecology of the constituency and had visited its dogs' home, but he did not think he would spend much time there during the campaign as he doubted if Mr Major would know who he was.

"If I get less than 2,000 votes I would be slightly miffed, but I am standing against the Prime Minister," he said.

Dr Bellamy revealed he had been talked into standing by Sir James after saying that he would vote for the first time for the party because he felt so strongly about Europe.

"The two potential leaders of the next government have been swinging backward and forward about whether we should be in or out - especially over the single currency. I know as an ecologist that a single unit cannot work, we need biodiversity.

"I don't want to see this country stick its head into something we won't be able to get out of.Britain is faced with a catastrophic future if it goes willy-nilly into a federal state run by unelected bureaucrats - faced with saying 'Yes Minister' in 24 languages."

Dr Bellamy said he thought the British people were going to demand a referendum. "We are not trying to get into power to run the country. We are trying to give the country the chance to run itself within Europe. We have got to keep Britain as a nation which is free to act and stand against the tyrannies of the rest of the world."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test