Interview: Independent candidate Khizar Iqbal
This week Total Politics talks to independent candidate Khizar Iqbal. A Conservative councillor for 12 years, Iqbal has now decided to run as an independent for Dewsbury after being turned down by the party as their local candidate.
What’s it like trying to campaign as an independent without the support of a party?
It is difficult obviously and I have to accept that I don’t have the machinery of the party behind me. But our campaign has been very successful so far. I’ve managed to fundraise so I’ve got sufficient resources. I’ve been campaigning for the last eight months.
You’re standing as an independent conservative. How will you differ from the main Conservative Party?
The key difference is that I am a local conservative candidate. I have to accept that in my values I am still conservative. I think people appreciate that. People in Dewsbury have the choice of two conservative candidates . I'm a local man who’s got 12 years of experience as a local councillor and a good track record of achievements.
There are many independent candidates standing at this election. How do you think independents can change politics?
I believe independents can change politics, not just with regard to local issues, but also with the cleaning up of politics. The MPs’ expenses scandal is something that I hear about on the doorsteps all the time — people are very angry and resentful with what elected members of our Parliament have been doing.
What do you think the future holds for politics?
I am positive. I believe that this election will bring some changes and some surprises. Now a quarter of existing MPs are stepping down, hopefully there will be many more independent candidates in the next Parliament.
Least favourite politician?