I will stand if Moran does, confirms Rantzen

Broadcaster Esther Rantzen today confirmed she would stand for election in Luton if the current MP stood again.

Ms Rantzen previously said she was considering standing after it was disclosed Labour MP Margaret Moran claimed £22,500 for treating dry rot at her home in Southampton, 100 miles from her constituency.

Today the I'm a Celebrity... and That's Life star, 68, confirmed she would definitely stand if Ms Moran stood again.

The MP has been referred to the special NEC endorsements panel for urgent consideration about whether to remove her endorsement as a Labour Party candidate.

Today Mahmood Hussain, chairman of Luton South Labour Party, said they were waiting for a decision from the NEC regarding Ms Moran's future before they issued a statement.

Ms Rantzen said: "I am absolutely shocked by an opaque process where nobody, nobody in Westminster, nobody in Luton South knows what's happening with Margaret Moran and I think that's a symptom of what is wrong with our current attitude.

"I think certainly the people in Luton South deserve to know, knowing how she claims her allowances, what the Labour Party intends to do.

"So I can't tell you at this moment whether or not she will be deselected, but if she stands, I will stand."

Ms Rantzen said even if Ms Moran did not stand, she may still consider standing for election, "to give the voters in Luton South a choice".

"I think that they deserve the opportunity of voting for someone like me who has no other motive than to represent them and represent them better than they have been represented since 1997," she said.

"If she does not stand or is deselected then we will have to see how she is replaced."

The broadcaster said she was impressed by the "galvanising" effect the expenses scandal was having on the main political parties and praised David Cameron for "throwing the windows and doors open".

But Ms Rantzen's idea to stand last week raised concerns among potential rivals in Luton.

Nigel Huddleston, Conservative Party prospective parliamentary candidate for Luton South, said if the TV presenter stood it could split the anti-Moran vote and risk Labour winning again.

Speaking last week he invited Ms Rantzen to support his own campaign as an "anti-sleaze candidate".

Yesterday former pop singer and fellow I'm a Celebrity... star David Van Day announced he too was considering standing as an MP in the wake of the recent expenses scandal.

The 52-year-old former member of 80s' pop duo Dollar may put himself forward as a candidate against Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries.

The Tory MP is said to have claimed for a New Year's Eve hotel room and a second home allowance while only having one home.

She also got taxpayers to foot the bill for a lost £2,190 deposit on a rented flat, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Ms Dorries denied the allegations about the hotel room and the second home, but admitted the lost deposit claim.

Mr Van Day said his idea to stand was prompted by "ridiculous" comments Ms Dorries made in a BBC Radio Four interview in which she accused the Telegraph of launching "McCarthy-ite witch hunts" against MPs.

Mr Van Day plans to visit mid-Bedfordshire this week under the banner of his own "No Expenses Party" to find out if residents would be receptive to him standing.

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 special investigation by Andy McSmith
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: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links