David Walter, the Liberal Democrats’ director of communications, is stepping out from the political sidelines and plans to stand as a candidate at the next General Election.
He will be hoping to retain the seat of Torridge and West Devon, taking over from LibDem John Burnett, who won the seat from the Conservatives in 1997. Burnett has decided to stand down at the next General Election.
Walter was a news and current affairs producer for the BBC in radio and television from 1971 to 1979. He moved to ITN and spent six years as political correspondent. In 1986 he took on the same role at Channel 4 News for two years, before returning to BBC radio and television.
Between 1988 and 1994, he presented Talking Politics on Radio 4 and reported for BBC One’s On the Record, Panorama and Newsnight on BBC Two, and had a stint as BBC News’s Paris correspondent. From 1994 to 1996, he presented Radio 4’s Eurofile, going on to report on BBC Two’s Correspondent until he left to become the LibDem’s communications director in February 1998. He recently wrote the book The Strange Rebirth of Liberal England.
“Having decided to jump down from the press gallery and be a participant – which was tempting to do for a long time – I finally did really when the family were the right age,” Walter said.
“I’ve had a reasonably successful career outside politics and I can bring that experience to bear and give it my undivided attention. Also we could be at a very historic moment in politics, where the tectonic plates could shift.”
By Wale Azeez