Herald reporter plans to take on Blair

Former Daily Mirror journalist Terry Pattinson has launched a political party which wants to take on Tony Blair in his Sedgefield constituency at the next election, writes Sarah Boden.

Pattinson, now chief reporter at the Surrey Herald, is co-founder of the Senior Citizens Party, which he said would stand up for the rights of the UK’s 15 million pensioners.

“Successive governments pay lip service to the problems of old people who are now disillusioned and very angry. Many of them aren’t voting any more. The party political system appears to have let them down,” said Pattinson.

The 61-year-old party campaign manager, who helped set up the Campaign for Real Ale more than 30 years ago, is confident that the SCP manifesto will strike a chord with voters.

“When we set up the Campaign for Real Ale, people said at the time it wouldn’t happen. It’s now got 70,000 members – it just shows it can be done.

If the party grows fast enough then I’ll probably retire from journalism and work full time for the party.”

The SCP, which is for people over 50, has already had a positive public response after featuring on Sky’s Littlejohn programme and in The Times.

“There’s every chance that we’ll be fielding a candidate against Blair at the next general election,” said Pattinson, who is from Gateshead. “I’ll be trying to build up a power base in Sedgefield and at least I’m a real Geordie.”

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