A MAN who grew up in Limerick has put his name before the electorate in this week’s British general election.
Simon Killane, who lived in Lisnagry and went to school in Newport, is running as an Independent candidate in the North Wiltshire constituency in the election, taking place today across the UK.
He now lives in Malmesbury, a town around 25 miles from Bristol, having settled there 20 years ago, after completing university education in Sheffield.
Mr Killane currently serves as the chairman of the scrutiny committee on Wiltshire’s local authority, a position which offers him a box seat in examining the policies of the ruling Conservative party.
As part of his role, he works with backbench councillors to identify problems in budgets presented by the local authority. He says he encouraged politicians to leave their party affiliations outside the door during these meetings.
And it is the success of this which has persuaded him to put his name before the electorate of over 67,000 people.
“I found by doing this, the party system is dysfunctional. In a modern world, with the issues we have, you could not get things done. But we started to get things done, because the scrutiny process is an evidence-based process. You leave your party politics outside the door, you can do things in an evidence-based way, and you can have a say in developing proposals for the cabinet,” he said.
Mr Killane admits his chances of being elected to the House of Commons are slim, with the constituency considered a ‘safe seat’ for the Conservative party. It has been represented by James Gray, a former advisor to the late Margaret Thatcher, since 1997.
Elsewhere though, the British election is on a knife-edge, with no single party likely to reach the number to form a majority.
Like Dail Eireann in recent times, it means smaller parties and individuals, if elected, could wield more influence.
Asked who he would do business with if elected, Mr Killane said: “I will sit down and work with people who want to do the right thing. I won’t worry about their creed or background, or what party they are in.”