Cameron opens Tory candidate list

Conservative leader David Cameron said today he was opening up the party's candidate list to people with no previous involvement in the party but a commitment to public service.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show he said: "What I'm going to do today is I'm going to reopen the Conservative candidate list to anybody who wants to apply. They may not have had anything to do with the party before. But I'm saying, if you believe in public service, if you share our values, if you want to help us clean up politics, come and be a Conservative candidate. We want to open up the talent that is available."

Asked if he would expect such candidates to toe the party line he said: "I think that behind the anger about expenses there is also a deep concern about the way the whole of the way our politics and Parliament works.

"People think, hold on, I elect people who go to Parliament and they are told how to vote by the whips rather than according to their conscience."

But he added: "Politics is a team game. We have still got to play as a team, you have got to sign up to the package."

He said that a lack of scrutiny and Parliament passing too many laws resulted in voters feeling they have no control over the process.

"They want more control of politics and politicians. People want a Parliament they can be proud of but they want more control over their lives."

Mr Cameron said successful headteachers and small business men and women could be among those recruited.

"We've got to try and find them and persuade them to stand," he said.

"Right now I expect many people are saying 'I'm not going anywhere near this nest of vipers'.

"We've got to work hard at it because our politics really matters and this is an opportunity to do that."

His move comes amid signs that that the major parties are set to be heavily punished for the MPs' expenses scandal at the next election.

Polling suggests unprecedented interest among voters in independent candidates unaffiliated to the established parties.

A new umbrella group, Jury Team, has also been set up recently to assist independent candidates who want to stand for election.

Asked what he was looking for in potential candidates, Mr Cameron added: "Commitment to public service, they want to be an Member of Parliament, they think it's a worthwhile thing to do, and some experience they can bring with them."

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said he supported the idea of independent candidates challenging the established parties.

"I welcome, really welcome, a lot of independents now coming in, saying 'we are now going to challenge these party stooges and try to get Westminster with a completely fresh approach'," he told Sky News.

"I think what MPs should be are champions of their local community, with their feet firmly on the ground in their local community, able to represent in a grassroots way a community which has elected them.

"That's what I expect from Liberal Democrat MPs and councillors.

"And I think if new independent candidates throw down a challenge so that all politicians become better that has to be a good thing."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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: Product Owner - Business Analyst

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Product Owner/Business Analyst is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Quality Technician

£28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

Recruitment Genius: Java Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity for an ...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea