This was a very short article (250 words) written after interviewing Dr Richard Taylor, Independent MP as a part of a piece concerning independent politics.
In the world of Brexit, Trump and reactionary politics, perhaps the biggest parliamentary casualty has been that of the constituent centric local MP, none more so embodied than by Dr Richard Taylor, former Independent MP for the Wyre Forest. For many years it was the lone grey speck on the map between a separated sea of blues and reds.
He invited me round to his house; situated less than two hundred metres from the very hospital he helped save on which his entire political platform was based around, ‘We felt cheated’ he says, ‘It was in some ways like a bereavement, what was ordinary, was now gone’. He is the same recognisable old doctor, bespectacled and thoughtful, though now recovering from a knee replacement, ‘I think it did help that I was a doctor, not just regarding hospital matters, but because I knew a lot of local people, and they in turn knew me…I treated them.’
‘I was treated just like any other MP, in fact I think some felt an alignment with my situation, in one instance I remember a Labour MP introducing himself to me as the ‘Almost Independent MP’. Alongside keeping the hospital open and working, Dr Taylor was key to bringing in the smoking ban and the ‘111’ phone number. ‘I could only be an Independent MP’ his eyes twinkle as he says this.
‘You were the first person I ever voted for, I’m not sure if that means anything…’
‘Ha! It does…It means a lot.’