Edwina Currie launches political comeback at 74

Edwina Currie launches political comeback at 74 as she prepares to take on Corbynite election rival… for a seat on Derbyshire County Council

  • Former Tory MP-turned-TV star said she was inspired by Joe Biden’s election 
  • Ms Currie is standing in the May polls for the council seat of Whaley Bridge  
  • Her Labour rival is Ruth George, the ex-MP who lost her Commons seat in 2019 

She’s the straight-talking Thatcher-era minister who ruffled feathers both in Westminster and the I’m a Celebrity jungle. 

And now Edwina Currie has set her sights for a political comeback on a tiny Derbyshire town where she’s hoping to unseat a Corbynite councillor.

Aged 74, the former Tory MP-turned-TV star said she had been inspired by Joe Biden’s election to the US presidency in his late seventies.

Ms Currie is standing in the May polls for the seat of Whaley Bridge on Derbyshire County Council, which is currently held by Labour rival Ruth George.

Although she has been away from frontline politics for more than 20 years, and Ms George only lost her Commons seat in 2019, Ms Currie is bullish about her chances.

‘We shall see, it was a Conservative-held seat until last year,’ she said. ‘I think there’s every opportunity here.’

Edwina Currie has set her sights for a political comeback on a tiny Derbyshire town where she’s hoping to unseat a left-wing councillor

She was catapulted back onto the political landscape in 2002 when she revealed an affair with John Major (pictured) in her memoirs

Setting out her stall, she added: ‘I’ve lived here for nine years in one of the oldest houses in Derbyshire, I walk these hills and I love my neighbours.

‘There are loads of businesses badly-affected by Covid – mostly run by local people – which provide employment.

‘I’m so keen to take people who have helped me out over the last year for a meal – with the money I’ve not been able to spend during lockdown hopefully I can take them for lunch and dinner.’

Ms Currie was elected to represent the constituency of South Derbyshire in Parliament in 1983, before being elevated to a health minister under Margaret Thatcher.

She resigned from her frontbench post three years later following her comments that the majority of eggs were contaminated with salmonella. 

After another 10 years on the backbenches, she lost her seat in Tony Blair’s 1997 Labour landslide.

But she was catapulted back onto the political landscape in 2002 when she revealed an affair with John Major in her memoirs.

Ms Currie later launched a media career and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity. 

Ms Currie later launched a media career and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity (pictured in 2014)

Resurrecting a political career following television appearances was a path also trodden by Anne Widdecombe, who memorably became a Brexit Party MEP in 2019.

Ms Currie said her inspiration came from President Biden’s run for the White House at the age of 77. 

She said: ‘Watching him defeat Trump and do it enormously I thought I should be doing something more than just watching TV.’ 

And the mother-of-two also described her personal affection to Whaley Bridge, and told the Buxton Advertiser: ‘I want High Peak people to have the best life they can’.

She hailed the care from local Blythe House Hospice of her late second husband, former Met Police detective John Jones, received during a long battle with cancer. 

Ms Currie admits politics has changed during the last two decades, with social media spreading ‘misinformation’.  


Ms Currie (left) is standing in the May polls for the seat of Whaley Bridge on Derbyshire County Council, which is currently held by Labour rival Ruth George

Edwina Currie: From Westminster to the jungle 

Edwina Currie was elected to represent the constituency of South Derbyshire in Parliament in 1983, before being elevated to a health minister under Margaret Thatcher.

She resigned from her frontbench post three years later following her comments that the majority of eggs were contaminated with salmonella. 

After another 10 years on the backbenches, she lost her seat in Tony Blair’s 1997 Labour landslide.

But she was catapulted back onto the political landscape in 2002 when she revealed an affair with John Major in her memoirs.

Ms Currie later launched a media career and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity. 

Whaley Bridge, which lies between Stockport and Buxton, has a population of just 6,500 is not usually a battleground for big name politicians. 

But it hit the headlines two years ago when parts of it were evacuated as the dam at Toddbrook Reservoir, which sits above it, threatened to collapse.

Ms Currie, who drives an ‘ancient’ diesel Skoda, says one of her big ambitions is to see Derbyshire become a green county.

She said: ‘This is especially important in Derbyshire – we should be a green county and we should be proud to be a green county.’ 

Fellow ex-MP Ms George took Whaley Bridge from the Conservatives in a by-election last year, after she lost her Parliamentary seat in the Tory landslide of 2019. 

Ms George said: ‘I look forward to the coming election on 6th May and to a fair contest against Edwina Currie.

‘I’ve loved being Whaley Bridge and Blackbrook councillor for the last year and helping as many people as I can, especially those who are most in need.

‘And taking on the Conservatives on Derbyshire County Council over their plans to close care homes, cut funding for voluntary services, and their lack of support for road safety and cycling in High Peak.

‘I know the Conservatives would love to beat me as I expose their policies and the impact they have on local people, so I will be fighting a straight fight on my record of working for our area where I’ve lived locally for over 30 years.’ 

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