FORMER Wyre Forest MP Dr Richard Taylor is bidding for a shock return to Parliament at the age of 80.
Dr Taylor, currently 79, served for two terms between 2001 and 2010, and says he has been prompted to launch a comeback attempt in 2015 following the Government’s “disastrous NHS reforms”.
He described having the same deep sense of anger as when he was first elected MP during an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to stop the downgrading of Kidderminster’s hospital.
He held his seat in 2005 but in 2010 was ousted by more than 2,500 votes. by current Conservative MP Mark Garnier.
Until today, Dr Taylor had refused to confirm or deny constant rumours he would run again in the general election on May 7, 2015, shortly before his 81st birthday.
But he has now told The Shuttle he will be the candidate for Independent Community and Health Concern, for which he is life president.
Dr Taylor is also co-founder of National Health Action, a recently- formed affiliated party, but he will be standing under the ICHC banner.
The former Parliamentarian told The Shuttle he had been thinking of running for “quite a long time”.
He said the final straw came last Saturday when reading a newspaper article about financial problems within the NHS which, he believes, have been caused by changes made in the Coalition’s 2012 Health and Social Care Act.
He said: “I cannot sit by and watch the current Government’s un-mandated devastation of our cherished NHS.”
He added voters did not trust David Cameron or Labour with the health service.
When elected in 2001, Dr Taylor won 58 per cent of the vote, riding a wave of fury over the threat to take services away from Kidderminster General Hospital. His support, however, dipped to 39 per cent in 2005 and 31 per cent in 2010.
“It was anger that made me stand in 2001 and it is anger on a much wider issue making me stand this time,” he said.
“Private providers have realised they can now make a profit from illness. This is absolutely appalling.”
He added: “I think the people of Wyre Forest know when I was MP I took on everybody’s problems and really tried to help across the board and certainly I was not a single issue MP – you cannot be – you have to take on everything people bring you.
“I have a huge advantage being independent – you do not have to follow anybody’s whip. If the Government are right on one matter you can vote with them, if they are wrong on something else you can vote against them.”
Dr Taylor remained tightlipped on stances he might take on other issues such as the economy and Britain’s membership of the European Union.
He said he hoped his announcement would show the Government there was “real concern” about the current state of the NHS.