Council of Reference


 Inspiration for the Independent Network’s Bell Principles, Martin Bell OBE was the MP for Tatton between 1997 and 2001. In 1997 just twenty-four days before the General Election, Bell announced that he was leaving the BBC (where he had a long and illustrious career as war correspondent) to stand as an independent candidate in Tatton, one of the safest Conservative seats in the country. He stood against Neil Hamilton who, at the time, was embroiled in a sleaze scandal. Martin Bell was elected an MP with a majority of 11,077 votes – overturning a Conservative majority of over 22,000 – and thus became the first successful independent parliamentary candidate since 1951. 



 Colin Copus is Professor of Local Politics in the Department of Public Policy, De Montfort University and he is the Director of the Local Governance Research Unit. Previously, he was an academic at the Institute of Local Government Studies at Birmingham University. He has also worked as a local government officer and a policy researcher in the House of Commons. Colin has served as a councillor on a London Borough, a county and a district council and two parish councils. 



 Tony Egginton is the directly elected mayor of the Mansfield district in Nottinghamshire, England. He was elected to the position on 17 October 2002 and re-elected in 2007.Previous to his election Tony had been a newsagent. The strap-line of Tony’s vision for Mansfield is ‘Creating a District where People can Succeed’. By providing opportunities through partnership working, Mayor Egginton has unlocked urban regeneration in Mansfield. On 31 March 2008, Egginton became the non-executive chairman of Mansfield Town F.C. 



 During her career Moore has written for Marxism Today, The Guardian, The Independent, and the New Statesman. She is presently a columnist for the Mail on Sunday. Having spent years communicating political ideas on paper, in 2010 she decided to do the same within her constituency. Moore stood as an independent candidate for the Constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington. She asked her constituents: “Do you want the people who represent you to be flawed, or to embody this perfect ideal? Because we've had the perfect ideal, and that's given us the expenses scandal and two wars.” Moore finished sixth out of the ten Candidates receiving 258 votes. 



 Ruth became a Lewes Town Councillor in 1999 as a Liberal Democrat. After a brief exploratory time with the Green Party in 2001 she gave up party politics altogether. In 2005 she became County Councillor for Lewes holding seats on Town, District and County Councils as an Independent. In 2007 she was returned as both a Town and District Councillor topping both polls with a vote of over 2000 in each, and in 2009 retained her County Council seat with a similar margin.  She has increased her presence within the community by co-hosting the breakfast show "Up with Dino and Ruth" on Rocket FM in Lewes and writing a weekly column for the Sussex Express. 



 Marianne is a Lincolnshire Independent who has won seven elections with landslide results.  As a County and District Councillor, Marianne serves Lincolnshire County in many senior roles.  She leads the Independents on the Lincolnshire Council. She also leads the Independents on the national body at Westminster, ensuring that MPs understand the needs of her constituents and the wider community she serves. 



 Keith’s local government experience spans 21 years, starting with election as a West Somerset District Councillor.  In May 2007, Keith became Leader of West Somerset District Council, having had previous portfolio responsibilities for Strategic Development, Economic Development and Democratic Renewal in West Somerset. Prior to becoming the Leader of the Independent Group at the Local Government Association (LGA), he served on a variety of LGA Boards and Panels, including holding the post of Chair and Vice Chair on several of these, and holding offices on the LGA Independent Group Executive.



In 1989 John Stevens was elected Conservative MEP for the Thames Valley and became immediately Vice Chairman of the European Parliament’s Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee.  He conducted all the legislation for the creation of the Euro through the European Parliament from 1989 to 1999.  In 1999, with a number of others, he set up the Pro Euro Conservative Party, with the intention of encouraging Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine to reform the Conservative Party under their leadership and restore it to its pro European traditions. In 2010 Stevens campaigned as an Independent PPC for the Buckingham constituency.



Lord Sutherland of Houndwood is one of the UK’s most distinguished philosophers of religion. The former principle of Kings College London, Lord Sutherland has received numerous distinctions, including 10 honorary degrees from European and American universities. With an interest in the care of the elderly, he chaired the Royal Commission on the Long-Term Care of the Elderly (1997–99). He now serves as the President of national charity Alzheimer Scotland – Action on Dementia and as Chair of the English Community Care Association. An elected Fellow of the British Academy, he holds honorary fellowships from King’s College London; Corpus Christi Cambridge and the University College of North Wales. In 2001 he was created a life peer as Baron Sutherland of Houndwood.


Before entering politics, Dr Richard Taylor was a member of his local Health Authority, chairman of Kidderminster Hospital League of Friends (1996–2001), and a committee member of the Save Kidderminster Hospital Campaign (1997–2001). Standing for Parliament as an Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern candidate at the 2001 general election, Taylor campaigned largely on a single issue, that of restoring the Accident & Emergency department of Kidderminster Hospital, which had been closed in 2000 due to cuts in the NHS. Taylor won with a majority of 18,000. Taylor was re-elected at the 2005 election. He became secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Patient and Public Involvement in Health.




Active independent Crossbench Peer, Lady Young of Hornsey is an accomplished artist and author. During her time as a Professor at Middlesex University, she was seconded to work as Project Director at the Archives and Museum of Black Heritage, a Heritage Lottery Funded Initiative.  Her book, Fear of the Dark: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Cinema was published in 1995. She has been Chair of the Arts Council’s Cultural Diversity Panel, and a member of the board of Resource, the Council of Museums, Archives and Libraries, and a commissioner on the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. She has chaired the judging panel of the Orange Prize for Fiction. Baroness Young was Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority from 2001- 2004 before being appointed as a Life Peer to the House of Lords in 2004.





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