Heath vows to keep on running at 80

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The Independent Online

Sir Edward Heath, the former Conservative Prime Minister, plans to run for Parliament again, making him the first 80-year-old to campaign in a general election in the past 25 years.

Sir Edward, who celebrates his 80th birthday on 9 July next year, will fight the altered but still rock-solid Tory seat of Old Bexley & Sidcup, which he has held since 1950.

His reselection not only bucks the current trend of former Tory holders of high office throwing in their hand and clearing off, usually to the City, but his re-election would make him by far the oldest member by far of the House of Commons. He became Father of the House - the member with the longest continuous service - after the 1992 election.

Sir Edward has appointed a new political adviser - Michael McManus, adviser to David Hunt when a Cabinet minister - on a three-year contract.