In a move reminiscent of white-suited BBC correspondent Martin Bell running as an independent on an anti-sleaze ticket in Tatton in 1997, the woman who once caused the nation to snigger at talking dogs and oddly-shaped vegetables has said that she's "sick" of the political structure which allowed all the inflated expenses claims, and that she may stand for election in Luton South against sitting Labour MP Margaret Moran. The party's National Executive Committee is currently reviewing Moran's future after it was revealed that she spent £22,500 treating dry rot in her Southampton home, which is some 100 miles from her constituency.
The irony of the reference to rot is almost too apt, considering the public's current perception that the whole expenses system is rotten to the core. We won't charge Esther a penny in speech-writing charges if she wants to pick up on that one and use it on the hustings.
By Vaughan Simons