One upside of the MPs’ expenses saga gripping the nation is that lawyers should make a better showing in league tables of the country’s least trusted professional group. If you can’t be more palatable than politicians at times like this, then you may as well give up.
So it is no surprise to see that one of the first ‘anti-sleaze’ independent candidates to come forward to stand at the next election is Wirral solicitor David Kirwan, who is targeting Labour-held Wirral West.
Kirwan has achieved something of a public profile as a result of his legal work, as well as serving as an independent councillor and leading a campaign against the closure of local libraries. His choice of constituency is more to do with local connections than any evidence of sleaziness in the incumbent, Stephen Hesford. All the Daily Telegraph managed to dredge up on Hesford (a barrister, as it happens), is a dispute with the parliamentary fees office over a £3,500 bill for his flat in Kennington.
Kirwan reckons that he can outdo that in the austerity stakes. Under the somewhat uninspired tag-line of ‘The candidate you can trust’, he assures voters that the only expenses he would claim are for travel from Wirral to Westminster. ‘If by throwing my hat into the ring, I can make a small contribution towards the huge task of cleaning up our parliament, then I will have been a cause for good,’ he told the press conference announcing his candidacy. ‘I hope too that my actions encourage other similarly disgusted people from all walks of life to seek to challenge the status quo in their constituencies the length and breadth of Britain.’
We shall see.