UNICEF ambassador and former war correspondent and independent MP Martin Bell, is to launch an election campaign by Isle of Wight independent councillors and candidates next month.
Mr Bell — famous for his anti-sleaze campaign that led to his election as an independent in 1997 — will launch the campaign on February 18, ahead of the May elections, and the group say they now feel confident they can make history and create an independent council.
Mr Bell became aware of the Isle of Wight’s independents thanks to councillor Vanessa Churchman, who met Mr Bell through her work as an independent representative with the Local Government Association and the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.
Ian Stephens, group coordinator, said: "A significant majority of seats now have a genuinely independent candidate committed to standing and this number will grow as the prospect of a majority independent group at County Hall is seen to be a real possibility."
He said: "Nine independent councillors have for the last four years shown that they can work together to bring forward realistic and workable alternatives to the disastrous policies forced through by the current Conservative administration.
"We now have sufficient candidates to remove the Conservatives and put in place an Independent council whose policies will truly reflect the views and needs of our residents and businesses, represented by independent councillors who have no party political axe to grind."
Fellow independent Cllr Chris Welsford said he thought this year could be independent candidates best chance of election success.
"With independent councillors people can see that you are genuinely trying to for the best for your community, without the pressure of party politics," said Cllr Welsford.