Former Conservative cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell has come out of retirement to stand as a West Midlands European election candidate – for the anti-Brexit Change UK party.
The Worcester-born politician hopes to become an MEP representing the region, when elections for the European Parliament take place on May 23.
He was a Conservative MP for 36 years and served in the government led by former Prime Minister John Major.
But now he’s standing as a candidate for Change UK, also known as The Independent Group, the new party formed by defectors from Labour and the Conservatives including Anna Soubry and Chuka Ummuna.
Change UK is calling for a second referendum, so that voters can decide whether they want to go ahead with Brexit or not.
The UK was meant to have left the EU by now. However, the failure to carry out Brexit means that the country will be forced to take part in the EU elections.
It’s meant some of the region’s sitting MEPs have been asked to stand again, even though they’d expected to be looking for new jobs by now.
Sion Simon and Neena Gill, the West Midlands’ two Labour MEPs, will both be candidates once again.
Anthea McIntyre and Daniel Dalton, the region’s two sitting Conservative MPs, are also standing again.
The West Midlands has three MEPs who were originally elected as UKIP candidates – Bill Etheridge, James Carver and Jill Seymour. However, they have all now left UKIP.
High profile Change UK candidates include Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel, who is to stand in the south west region.
Former BBC Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler will be a Change UK candidate in London. He said he was “seriously worried” about the future of Britain
“Our political system is a joke. It is a worldwide joke,” he told a press conference in Bristol.
“They are laughing at us – not with us, at us. It is broken.
“This country cannot possibly be strong abroad when it is weak at home.
“We all know any version of Brexit will make us poorer as a country.”
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has launched a rival party, known as the Brexit Party.
Vowing to campaign in Labour heartlands of south Wales, the Midlands and the north of England, Mr Farage said he had set his sights on Labour voters.
He said: “There are five million people that voted for Jeremy Corbyn and voted for Brexit as well, and that’s going to be our task.
“I think we will go on squeezing the Conservatives and squeezing Ukip down to virtually nothing.
“We’re going to go after that Labour vote in a very big way.”
Attacking rival new pro-Remain party Change UK as “Continuity UK”, Mr Farage said his candidates were the ones who would “revolutionise and modernise politics”.