Esther Rantzen will stand for election in Luton

By Jessica Elgot, July 28, 2009

Presenter Esther Rantzen has confirmed she will stand for election as an Independent MP in Luton South in the next General Election.

Labour MP Margaret Moran is standing down for her post in Luton after she was exposed by the Daily Telegraph for using £22,500 in expenses for treating dry rot at her home in Southampton.

The former That's Life presenter and founder of children's charity Childline said she was prompted to run after feeling such outrage at the MPs' expenses scandal, and has been hinting about her intentions for months.

"This is an exciting and slightly petrifying new step for me. There is a feeling in the air that people want a choice. We are still feeling, all of us, angry and distressed about the expenses scandal," she told Press Association.

Her decision followed a public meeting in Luton, at the town's football ground, organised by Ms Rantzen, where she invited members of the public to give their opinion on her candidacy.

Ms Rantzen said she would like to approach Martin Bell, the independent who ran a successful anti-sleaze campaign which unseated Conservative MP Neil Hamilton, to get advice on how to beat seasoned politicians.

She said: "Surely Mr Bell could now offer a new generation of hopefuls a few tips on how it's done? Because frankly we are sick of so many of our party political MPs, and their ghastly conspiracy to extract as much money from us as possible."

Last updated: 11:28am, July 29 2009