by Liam Thorp, politics reporter
A BUSINESSMAN who famously rejected a £100,000 investment on the BBC show Dragons’ Den has launched a political movement backing independent candidates.
Bolton-born Danny Bamping rejected the offer from business moguls Rachel Elnaugh and Theo Paphitis to invest in his Bedlam Cube puzzle in 2005.
The 40-year-old is now spearheading the No Party Network, a political movement aiming to get independent candidates elected at local and national elections.
The movement has its base in Bolton but already has member groups forming as far away as Devon, Kent and Wales.
Mr Bamping, aged 40, who is originally from Bromley Cross but now lives in Devon, says the group wants to “change the political conversation” and is urging people who are disillusioned with the status quo to support independent candidates rather than those standing for established political parties.
He said: “We are not a political party but a political movement — we want to move away from party politics and create a modern representation in parliament through voting for independents, who can create a true representation of people and their desires, intents and wishes.
“The idea has history on its side — for the first 650 years after parliament was set up it only ever had independent candidates — whereas today there is just one.”
He added: “We have got thousands of people signed up to our movement now through social networking and we are saying to all of them — don’t not vote, vote independent.”
Group members meet every Thursday evening at the Cotton Tree Pub in Halliwell and when Mr Bamping cannot attend, he and other members around the country join in via a Skype connection.
Among its many political aims, the No Party Network is calling for the British Constitution to be written down, or codified.
It also wants to scrap the so called bedroom tax, reform drug laws, decommission nuclear weapons and make having a TV License a voluntary option.
The group’s chairman is 58-year-old Dave Sanders from Astley Bridge.
He said: “The main political parties have got us where we are now, they are the reason we are in a mess.
“It seems very simple to me, we should go back to a position where independent politicians represent the people and the places that they are from.”
For more information on the movement visit noparty.co
TAP – It all seems a bit lightweight. Is this an attempt to head off any independent movement, like David Mortimer’s Family Law Reform Party in Milton Keynes. I thought an independent movement would be independent.. All a bit strange