Guernsey Press

General Election bid is an itch I need to scratch even at 61, says Iain Dale

Dale said an emotional farewell during his LBC show on Tuesday after 14 years with the radio station.


Broadcaster Iain Dale said he has given up “the best job I’ve ever had” at LBC radio station in a bid to run in the General Election because “it is an itch I need to scratch”.

Dale said an emotional farewell during his show on Tuesday after 14 years with the station, because broadcast rules mean candidates in the General Election are not allowed to present radio shows.

He later discussed the announcement on his For The Many podcast with Jacqui Smith, saying it would be a “massive blow” if he was selected but did not win, but he picked himself back up after being unsuccessful in 2005.

“I’m essentially giving up the best job I’ve ever had, I’m giving up quite a good income on the chance that I might possibly be selected. A lot of people think I’ve gone stark raving mad,” he said.

“The reason I’m doing it is because it is an itch I need to scratch, even at the ripe old age of 61.

“I just thought, whatever the result of this election, and we all know what the polls say, I think I could play a bit of a role in not just helping the Conservative Party through some fairly traumatic and difficult times, but actually rebuilding it.

“Sensible people, which I like to think I am one, need to come to the aid of the party in times of difficulty.”

Smith asked him how he will respond when opponents say they heard him on the podcast a few months ago suggest he was not sure he was going to vote for the Conservative Party.

Iain Dale
Iain Dale said he hoped listeners would ‘respect’ his decision (LBC/PA)

“In the end, the only way to change the law is to vote for it, and you can only do that as an MP.”

During his last LBC broadcast, Dale said there are “no guarantees” he will be selected as a candidate “let alone elected”, but “I know that I would forever kick myself if I didn’t at least have a go” ahead of the July 4 election.

“You know how much politics means to me,” the 61-year-old said on air.

“If you’ve listened for any length of time, you know I’ve always had two ambitions in life. One was to be a radio presenter and the other was to be an MP.

“Last time I tried, the electorate fought back in quite a major way it has to be said. But now I am putting my hat in the ring again to be a candidate at the General Election.

“Whatever the result, I feel I can play a role in restoring trust and honesty in politics.”

During his time at LBC, Dale presented four general election night shows, two US presidential election shows and the Scottish and Brexit referendum night shows, as well as the station’s evening programme.

LBC said it will announce its evening programming plans for the election period in due course.

Tom Cheal, LBC’s senior managing editor, said: “Iain Dale is a world-class broadcaster, and has been hugely important in helping to make LBC the political powerhouse it is today.

“I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Iain on LBC. We understand his decision and thank him for his massive contribution to the station.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.