Here's a press release I have just issued before setting off to Wells for a campaign day. I'd love to hear comments on this. By the way, my fingers are being crossed for a West Ham win in the playoffs this afternoon!
In a speech this evening (Saturday) to more than 120 Blakeney Conservatives Iain Dale, Conservative Candidate for North Norfolk will make a Pledge of Integrity to the people of North Norfolk. He will become the first party politician ever to make such a pledge
In his speech he will say:
"People have lost trust in politicians. There are two comments I hear time and time again, which are not directed at me personally but to politicians in general. They are "We don't believe a word any of you say" or "why should we vote, you're all the same". Politicians from all parties have got to address this growing cynicism otherwise we will end up like a banana republic. This week we have had the unedifying sight of a Conservative MP being sacked over expenses claims and a Labour Party Political Broadcast for the European elections which did not mention the subject of Eurppe but instead devoted itself to the bitterest personal attack on a party leader seen for years. So much for fighting the European elections on a positive agenda.
"I have given a great deal of thought in recent months to how I can personally address this cynicism about politicians and show to people that in me they will elect someone who is different - who has a high personal moral compass, a person of obvious integrity and complete openness. I have therefore started drawing up a Pledge of Integrity which I will make to the people of North Norfolk. I will publish it in full in a future issue of my newspaper, North Norfolk Matters, and people can draw their own conclusions about what sort of person they are voting for. I will pledge:-
* never to solicit or accept a company directorship while serving as an MP
* to publish in detail any expense I reclaim while in the pursuit of my parliamentary duties
* to tell people my real views even when I know they will disagree with me
* never knowingly to claim credit for something when the credit is not mine
* never to employ any member of my family in my parliamentary office
* to live in the constituency (as I do now) and make my main home among the community I serve
* never to promise what I know I cannot deliver
* never to waste taxpayers' money by tabling pointless Early Day Motions or asking Parliamentary Questions for the sake of it (Note: each written PQ costs the taxpayer £250 and EDM's at least £500)
* never to use taxpayers' money via the Parliamentary Office Cost Allowance to promote party political activity
Iain continues: "I make these pledges so people can see that I intend to be honest and transparent. As public figures our conduct not only has to be impeccable, it has to be seen to be impeccable. By making this pledge to the people of North Norfolk I am doing something that no politician has ever done before, so far as I am aware, and I realise I am setting myself up to be judged. I will not let people down."