Ian Stephens to stand as Independent candidate for Isle of Wight MP

OnTheWight learns the real reason why leader of the Isle of Wight council, Ian Stephens, stood down from his role at last night’s Full Council meeting.

Ian Stephens

At last night’s Isle of Wight Full Council meeting, Island Independent councillor Ian Stephens stepped down from the role of leader. He has been leader of the council for almost two years, since being re-elected back in May 2013.

OnTheWight has been informed Ian Stephens will today announce his candidature for the 2015 General Election.

Former candidate
Back in April 2014, the Association of Island Independents announced Wendy Cook as their candidate for the General Election. She stood down a week later after severe criticism from Islanders over drink driving charges.

Current incumbent surrounded by scandal
The current MP for the Isle of Wight and nominated 2015 candidate for the Conservatives, Andrew Turner, faces a motion of no confidence at a meeting of the Conservative Association Executive this Friday.

This follows the scandal of his former partner Carole Dennett leaving him for his transport adviser, Nicholas Finney. Both as still working closely with Mr Turner.

Image: © Isle of Wight Council

Thursday, 22nd January, 2015 8:15am

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ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2cIE

Filed under: Election, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Politics, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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99 Comments on "Ian Stephens to stand as Independent candidate for Isle of Wight MP"

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East Cowes IOW

No.

zebedee
I dont know much about Ian Stephens. His heart seems to be in the right place,, he’s local and appears to be genuine. But based on his performance at the recent Westminster Day (a tourism event) he was an ineffective speaker who had attendees wriggling in their seats with embarrassment at the content of his speech. Vix appears to be totally aout of her depth too. Andrew… Read more »
Michael G

That’s quite a surprise, or should that be ‘shock’.

Vix Lowthion

Looking forward to finding out what his opinions are on a broad range of national and international policies on health, defence, environment, economy etc. Has he really got the brains?

Leader of the Council role is a management position. The role of MP is very different to that.

sam salt
Ouch Vix, comments like “Has he got the brains” doesn’t warm me to you. You say Leader of the Council is a management position, what do you consider your own role to be. In my book a teacher has a very limited knowledge of working in the wider world and that is not meant to be unkind. What makes you believe you have the brains? Some of… Read more »
East Cowes IOW

I am guessing Vix is making a reference to what Ian Stephens said recently himself, where he questioned whether other people on the IW Council had the brains….I’ll look for the exact quote.

Vix Lowthion

Yes. His words, not mine. Constant reference to the original comment in the council chamber last night.

sam salt

Brilliant comment Sally, shows he has humour. I wonder whether he was just speaking of Councillors or officers and public as well?

Stewart Blackmore

You didn’t misread it, Sally, you are spot-on.

Ali Hayden.

Totally agree with you Tess.
Commenting on Andrew Turners private life and using it to try + gain advantage is not a trait to be proud of!

peaceful_life

Nonsense, you’re deliberately misrepresenting context for your own self gratification and Ian, as mush as I like him (and I do) *did* make the derogatory comment to council members at the council meeting on the *public* record.

ThomasC
Unfortunately Ian is by far and away the most credible candidate, Vix: over and above you, too. In the absence of a credible alternative I was prepared to put a vote in the Green box, but Ian has experience and knowledge of the political system at town and unitary authority and has been an IW Councillor for two terms. He has the capacity to be a strong… Read more »
Vix Lowthion
What are his opinions on all the major issues? The MP job isn’t a management job. It requires vision and direction. It requires educated opinions to vote on a range of topics. How would he vote on bedroom tax, gay marriage, Syria war, welfare reform, transportation, Trident? We have a short time to quiz him and find out. Beware an ‘independent’ label which can mean what you… Read more »
Paleo

Well I know Ian Stephens and his views more than I know yours Vix. By the way do you subscribe to all your party’s views as per http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/edwest/2015/01/welcome-to-the-bonkers-world-of-the-green-party-manifesto/ ?

sam salt
Vix, Ian was elected to the IWC in 2001 as a Liberal. By the 2005 elections he had become an Independent and has stayed that way since. He has a wealth of experience in local government. I remember him helping a local charity who were in difficulties and the care, support and the useful knowledge he gave them saved the day. Now we have touched on his… Read more »
ThomasC

All this shouting before Ian’s had a chance to set his stall out. It’s a bit of an unseemly rush to beat up an opponent, Vix.

Maybe give him a chance to explain what he’s offering, rather than frantically bashing him on all fronts?

Stewart Blackmore

Well, we’ll find out at the hustings during the campaign what he stands for and how he’ll better represent Islanders with no party system, no experience and no way of pursuing Islanders’ best interests.

He already has experience of what he’s up against as an Independent from his various trips to London to lobby government ministers. I’ll remind you of the outcome – nothing!

derek

Vix,I refer to my comments on the previous article on Council Leader Resigns, do not take this the wrong way but you are still learning your way in Politics.

Vix Lowthion

Thank you for the advice. I stand by re-quoting the patronising way that Mr Stephens has addressed fellow councillors in the chamber. And I am concerned that people are choosing to vote for someone without knowing what their opinion is on national and global topics of crucial importance.

Or are we voting on personality and not policy?

derek

Vix,Some might say both.

peaceful_life
@Vix. Yes, you’re standing against parochial rhetoric such as this from Thomas:’Ian has experience and knowledge of the political system at town and unitary authority and has been an IW Councillor for two terms. He has the capacity to be a strong voice for the Island, unencumbered by political party baggage’…meaningless. This from Ali Hayden:’We actually get an Islander, with the Island + it’s residents to represent… Read more »
ThomasC
But without someone who knows how to actually handle the political system what chance do we have of being part of that system as it moves in reaction to the crumbling society and financial upheaval. Does Vix have what it takes to get the voice of the IW heard? What proof do we have of that? There’s lots of very meaningful proof of Ian’s capacity to get… Read more »
Vix Lowthion

The electorate decides and the electorate get the politician they want. Promises such as ‘do the best for the island’ lack detail and substance. So I am looking forward very much to seeing what his policies would be and how he would vote on key issues.

East Cowes IOW

The emperor has no clothes.

Anon Again

@vix – for someone who has apparently held no public office at all you have a frightfully high opinion of yourself and your capabilities.

Don Smith
Forget international polices, that is to say: until such times as we have an Independent Government. We want an MP who represents the Isle of Wight, and in matters that affect and relate to the IoW. Far too often we see MPs who are nothing but puppets, with the party elite pulling the strings. I wish Mr Stephens well – And if elected please remain ones own… Read more »
Geoff Lumley

Judge him on whether he can get you a dropped kerb, Don. Has he been round to see you yet ? He’s allegedly very effective and can get things done………

Don Smith

My door is always open Geoff, but councillor Stephens must mind the high kerb.

I will DROP:-) him a line mi thinks; what’s one more letter?

Ali Hayden.
How fantastic! We actually get an Islander, with the Island + it’s residents to represent us. There is no one better to get things done for us. Ian has been a great community spirited Local Town Councillor + County Councillor for many years. He as already paved the way with his LGA role. Ian + the Independents took over County Hall only a short while ago because… Read more »
Stewart Blackmore

Ali, no game playing? What was the game Ian was playing last night at full Council when he made no reference to the real reason that he was resigning as Leader?

Ali Hayden.

Stewart, why on earth would he make such an announcement at a Full Council meeting?
Yourself + Vix are doing yourself no favours what so ever with your reaction to Ian standing as our Independent Candidate.
Could it be that you both feel you now have a worthy opponent who will effectively do the very best he can for the Isle Of Wight?
Serious Competition!

Stewart Blackmore
Ali, I predicted months ago (when the previous Independent candidate withdrew) that Ian Stephens would stand. In fact I asked him at that time and he denied it. You say he’s a worthy opponent and we’ll soon see if he is, or not. With regard to his announcement at last night’s full council, he himself said that it was to enable someone new to carry on the… Read more »
Don Smith

‘Disingenuous at the very least’.

Yes! Stewart; however, a move that was typically that of a politician.

Vix Lowthion

We want a career politician now?

steve s

@anon again
“I know they are doing the very things they criticised other people for doing”
I wonder if you would be good enough to provide details of what those things might be.

Vix Lowthion

Competition is good. A 6 horse race (as we current are setting out to have) is going to be very finely split.

Looking forward to it.

Anon Again
Why wouldn’t he announce his candidacy at the Full Council? Openness, transparency and all that stuff he is meant to stand for Even better, announce that he was stepping down AFTER the budget next month, say he’d done his job in getting through a difficult budget year and was ready for pastures new. Stepping down in January, with a month of budget discussion to take place and… Read more »
Anon Again

That last comment was meant to be in reply to @ali hayden – don’t know what happened there!

Norman jones
A full council meeting is not the place to launch your political career or intentions. Just as this site shouldn’t be used as it has been by the green person trying to persuade us she is a credible one to vote for. The tone of her has changed today has it not. You do not like people cheerleading for a cause they believe can win as the… Read more »
Anon Again
@norman jones – Not sure why you think a Council Chamber is not the place for announcing political intentions when it seems to be that political debate is what we put people there for. But you may be able to enlighten me. I am also not sure why the Green candidate cannot use this forum to put herself forward and explain why she thinks she would be… Read more »
Ali Hayden.

How lovely to be referred to as a “Cheerleader..”
Makes me feel about 15 years old.
I do think however that at 49, I may be a tad too old for the title!
I shall work on the moves though!

garageelfiniow

SO the ineffective leader of an ineffective ‘independant ‘ group wants to be our MP – god help the Island – surely there is a better ‘independant’ candidate out there who is truely an independent.

Mason Watch

Roll on the Friday meeting ……. Personally I think we might have two independent candidates here by Saturday! One thing is for sure… We aren’t going to be a Conservative constituency come May

cers121

Oh My Goodness I may be able to Vote again if there’s a selection of Independents to Vote for …

Cynic

“Conservation Association Executive” Has IWCA gone Green? :-))

Geoff Lumley

He’ll join the long list of independent parliamentary candidates over the last generation who lost their deposits……Ask Harry Rees or David Holmes.

ThomasC

Changing times, Geoff. Labour look pretty unelectable at the moment, nationally and locally (as ever).

Four years ago who would have thought we would have an independent-led IWC or that it would last, which it is.

Geoff Lumley

Thomas C. ‘Lasting’ on the coat-tails of the Tories, from the evidence of last night’s Full Council voting. A betrayal of all those who voted for Indys against incumbent Tories in May 2013.

And the next government will be lead by Labour. Have no doubt about that.

Cynic

Has not Milliband shot himself (and New Labour) in the foot by delaying the Chilton report to protect Blair- as some allege?

Stewart Blackmore

Cicero, the Chilcott report has got nothing to do with Ed Miliband. And, for the record, he (Miliband) was against the Iraq war, but don’t let the facts get in the way of mischief.

Cynic
“The Prime Minister: First of all, let us be clear: the right hon. Gentleman (Miliband) voted again and again and again against establishing the inquiry—but, as ever, absolutely no apology.” (Hansard PMQ yesterday.) BTW Miliband was not an MP at the time of the Iraq Vote so he could not have voted against the War. and only stated his opposition later seven years later.. As you say… Read more »
Cynic
“Miliband has a proud 0% voting record on the issue of ‘Iraq Investigation – Necessary’. There were 10 separate votes in the House of Commons in the period in which he has been an MP: in not a single one of these did Mr E. Miliband take the opportunity to make clear, or even hint at, what he now so sincerely believes: that the Iraq war was… Read more »
Don Smith
Sorry Geoff, I must disagree with you on this. More the merrier. And unless Labour can persuade some of its idle sympathisers to get off their bots and register to vote and use their vote, Labour could lose their deposit. The apathy amongst the working class on the IoW indicates to me that they are all content just to be receiving their social hand-outs. I do feel… Read more »
I.Reader

Blimey, it’s a bit like waiting ages for a bus in London, then 3 arriving one after the other when it comes to candidates deserving Islander’s votes.

I’d vote for Stewartvixian MP, in a world where a Jedward is possible.

All very exciting & scarily unpredictable when our future is at stake.

Paleo

Scarily? Do you ever go outside? Ian Stephens may not be the brainiest bloke on the planet, but he is decent, has integrity and is not beholden to national party machines. P.S. The Spectator has a rather amusing take on the Green Party’s loony manifesto – use your google-fu.

Stewart Blackmore

How ironic that the Independents voted for a Tory (Cllr. Stewart) to take over as Chair of Scrutiny. We’ll see how that works out.

peaceful_life

@Stewart.

How ironic that the country will now be mostly dependent on a coalition of ‘alternative’ parties to browbeat and hold labours feet to flames in order to squeeze *any* last remnants of socialistic empathy from their political screams.

Scotland will return due wages for the betrayal of labour…..and rightly so.

Luisa Hillard

As you well know, and as Geoff Lumley (the previous Chair) said himself, it is usual to have a member of the opposition as the Chair of Scrutiny.

Additionally, Cllr Stewart was Geoff’s Deputy and I’m led to believe that it’s expected that Deputies are supposed to step up to the Chair when there is a resignation….?

Blue Stockings

Hilarious, who forget to tell Steve Stubbings.

retired Hack

Plenty of people didn’t. Don’t you get Luisa’s irony?

Anon Again
@retired hack The irony was rather obscure. I think I may have been laughing too hard at her recent complaint about other people’s motions to Full Council being not quite up to her high standards. The only motion I can recall her putting before Full Council is one on bees. Bees are of vital importance to be sure but one motion is hardly a proud record of… Read more »
davidwalter

Stewart, were you at the last Scrutiny when Dave Stewart chaired? I think the consensus across the chamber was that he did a good job. Very different style to Geoff but every bit as effective. What was ‘ironic’ about it? The Chair of Scrutiny is traditionally from an opposition group.

mat
So our local politics moves on. The announcement is timely and is indeed a canny one by Ian Stephens. The announcement is also a game-changer as the Independents have the most likely chance of getting elected and they must now line up behind him as a unified force. To be realistic, the intentions for the island Labour Party and the Greens will not be disrespected. Effectually there… Read more »
Vix Lowthion

I think it’s starting out to be a really excellent campaign now!

Darcy
Not a natural Tory voter and certainly not an apron wearer, I nevertheless had some sympathy until recently with AT as a constituency MP. However, apart from the publicly over-washed linen, the appalling behaviour of the IWCA, his disgraceful and disrespectful treatment of 38 Degrees director David Babbs at the recent Select Committee, and his frankly embarrassing performance at the recent so-called press conference in the Riverside… Read more »
Pollster

I think he’ll get around 2,000 maybe 2,500 votes.

It’ll be hard for him because despite his 18 months as council leader, he has a low profile. Harder still will be explaining his policies.

As ever with an indie punt at MP, it’s doomed.

PS Will he still be on the national LGA thing?

Geoff Lumley

Pollster. Still on the LGA ? But of course; its a nice, little earner.

milly
Ian Stephens has been working hard to deal with the big issues facing the island. He has followed through with the enterprise partnership working with the Trades Unions to gain Assisted Area Status and the successful meeting with the LEP, on the island recently to support SME funding, where the Trades Council attended. Ian has managed to take a position on the LGA to support councils and… Read more »
milly
Placings, if an election were to take place today would probably reveal that Indies were in first place.If Andrew Turner was to stay as candidate for the Tories. 1. Ian Stephens (Independent) 2. Stewart Balckmore (Labour) 3. Vix Lowthion (Green) 4. UKIP 5. Conservatives 6.Lib Dems If AT was to resign, the Greens would continue to rise, Labour drop and Tories move above UKIP. 1. Ian Stephens… Read more »
garageelfiniow

what a load of old tosh – what do you base that opinion on ?

Black Dog

Magic Mushrooms?

Ian Stephens has two hopes and one of them is Bob Hope.

Cynic

Do you take bets Milly? :-))

thomas

The other ‘The Cape Of Good Hope’

milly

bish, bash,bosh.

Pollster

Milly, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, most islander’s wouldn’t recognise Ian’s name on the ballot paper let alone place their cross beside it.

Ian Young
O yes they will. The fact is that out there in the real world Ian Stevens is, for many and varied reasons undoubtedly well like and respected and in fact has been for years His opponents will need to recognise this and would be well advised to cut out the cheap and unpleasant remarks as they will do nothing to dent his grass roots popularity. Treat him… Read more »
sam salt

Ian my vote will probably go to Ian STEPHENS, who is this
Stevens bloke you are writing about.
Respect means getting the name right. Everything else you say about him is right.

Ian Young

It was a mistake Tess simple as that, nothing to do with lack of respect.

For what it’s worth some of your contributions here would seem to leave a lot to be desired on the respect front, but who am I to judge or comment?

Albert Street

“Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”

Cynic

…. and empty vessels magnify the sound. As intellectually low-frequency bass sounds carry further tha intellectually higher quality treble sounds, one can judge from whence(just east of Newport) the former are regularly being emitted.

Cynic

…or even *west* of Newport!

milly

Sure, its all part of the fun, the bookies are giving good odds on Ian Stephens winning already.

What are the odds on AT or Labour at present? Opinion polls are always tosh.

Cynic

Compare and contrast Milly’s prediction @ 1.24 and her view on opinion polls one hour later! :-))

davidwalter

Which bookie has opened a book on the IoW election? I fancy a punt.

Black Dog

There is a new one on the Island it is called Milly Power

Paleo

“What a difference a day made, twenty four little hours”…

garageelfiniow
Labrokes quoting Stephens 25/1 today and UKIP gone from 11/2 to 5/1 – obviously some way different to the predictions above. BTW with regard to the Greens does everyone think the voting public is daft enough to ignore some (lots) of the stuff in the manifesto ? it been said that UKIP policy is loony tunes but some of the so called green policy looks like it… Read more »
Cynic

BTW that’s GreenHAM Common.

(I lived nearby for a couple of decades and had some respect for them living in tents through a couple of really harsh winters)

garageelfiniow

I am not used to computers – I should read what I write

yes one had to admire their principals even if you did not agree with them

Cynic

…. and Cons 7 to 1 on! It will be interesting to see if that changes should AT be deselected in the near future.

Ariadne

Probably 20 to 1 on in that event.

Simon Perry

We had a piece that we’ve been working on today about the odds, but seeing your comments this evening made us bring forward its release to this evening!

davidwalter
Ali, I was reading an article about cheerleaders the other day. There was a troupe over from the States. Is ‘troupe’ the right collective noun? They all hailed from Scumbagsville Arizona if you get my meaning. I wondered if it is more about ‘beauty’ (actually sex-appeal) than any other talent. Then I wondered. They say ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Is that true? Maybe… Read more »
Phil D

Get on and do some work instead of sat on your bum commenting on here all the time! @vix!!

Get a life

The last time Vix commented here was 22nd January. Its now 8th March.

Why dont you take your own advice? Go get a life.