Disgraced former Tory Cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken may attempt a political comeback by contesting his old parliamentary seat for the UK Independence Party, it emerged today.
Aitken, 62, lost his Thanet, Kent constituency at the 1997 election after 23 years.
He was jailed for 18 months for perjury in 1999, and Tory Leader Michael Howard has made it clear he will not be allowed to represent his old party in the House of Commons again.
However, in an interview with the Kent On Sunday newspaper published today, Aitken said he was now considering standing as a UKIP candidate.
“There’s a temptation there, an interest there, so I am genuinely pondering it in a hesitant way.
He added: “We know from the very good vote that UKIP got in Thanet generally, and in Kent, that the UKIP candidate will get a very respectable vote.
“There is bound to be a UKIP candidate in South Thanet. Whether he’s called Brown, Jones or Aitken that candidate will do well.”
Aitken said he would wait until after the UKIP party conference in Bristol next month to make a final decision on whether to run.“
I want to see a bit more of UKIP I’m planning to go as an observer to their conference.”