Moose mascot to stand against MP

FOR years Jeremy Izod has been better known as the man behind Cambridge United's mascot, Marvin the Moose.

Laurence Cawley

FOR years Jeremy Izod has been better known as the man behind Cambridge United's mascot, Marvin the Moose.

But the Stowmarket-based football fan is now hoping to take David Ruffley's Bury St Edmunds seat at the next General Election.

Mr Izod, who lives with his wife Emma in Heron Close, said he was planning to stand as an independent because of his anger of the MPs' expenses furore and because he wants to give the electorate an alternative to the three main parties.

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“Why can't somebody ordinary like me stand and win?” said Mr Izod, who was until recently Marvin the Moose.

“People elected to serve as MPs should be going out of their way to help people and not lining their pockets. Esther Rantzen (who has declared her willingness to contest the Luton South seat after its current MP Margaret Moran claimed for her dry rot problem in Southampton) inspired me to consider standing. It is about genuine independence and I think it would be so much more positive and would send a warning out to the three main political parties.

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“I do genuinely care - I love Stowmarket and Suffolk as a whole. I would stand on local issues and I would invite people to come and ask me to campaign on the issues which affect them.”

Key areas he is concerned about are the lack of affordable housing in St Edmundsbury and Stowmarket, the lack of youth facilities in the area and the transport system.

He criticised current Bury MP Mr Ruffley for shifting his main residents from just outside Bury to London. Mr Ruffley claimed he made the decision to change his designated his first home because his shadow ministerial responsibilities meant he was spending more time in London.

But Mr Izod said it only took an hour and 20 minutes to get from Bury into London and said an MP's primary role was in their constituency.

He also questioned why Mr Ruffley's voting attendance rate - as stated by the parliamentary authorities - had slipped from 67.9% to about 56% since May 2005.

Cambridge United spokesman Will Jones said the club was 100% behind Mr Izod's parliamentary bid. “It would be fantastic if our Marvin the Moose became an MP.”

His announcement comes in the wake of Terry Waite's decision to stand as an MP at the next election. The former Beirut hostage and church ambassador, who lives in Hartest, has not declared which seat he would contest.

Mr Ruffley, who was named in the Daily Telegraph expenses expose over a number items bought, and part claimed for, from the plush London department store Harrods, said: “Any one in a democracy can put their names forward. I work as hard as I can and people will be able to judge my record at the next election and I welcome that.”

He said splitting time between London and his Bury constituency was something a lot of MPs, especially those on the front benches, did without constituents being neglected.

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