Break that promise

We have always believed that politicians, like all human beings, are entitled to change their minds. That even applies to anti-politicians, such as the Independent MP for Tatton, Martin Bell, in whose career this newspaper likes to take a vaguely proprietorial interest.

We have always believed that politicians, like all human beings, are entitled to change their minds. That even applies to anti-politicians, such as the Independent MP for Tatton, Martin Bell, in whose career this newspaper likes to take a vaguely proprietorial interest.

Mr Bell says he will stand by his pledge to the people of Tatton not to stand for election a second time. But he admits that he may be having second thoughts about possibly standing for Parliament again somewhere else.

Have the courage to go back on your word, Mr Bell! You have been a good representative for the people of Tatton and a good spokesman for democracy for the rest of us. The House of Commons needs its Man in the White Suit, who, incidentally, would make a better Speaker than most of the runners in the current race to succeed Betty Boothroyd.

Let the people of Tatton decide, Mr Bell. They may well take the view that this is one promise they would like to see broken and elect you for a second term.

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