Former minister Twigg to return to Commons

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Stephen Twigg, then man who famously defeated Michael Portillo in the safe Tory seat of Enfield Southgate, in 1997 is set to return to the House of Commons.

Mr Twigg, 40, who was the first MP to have been first elected as an openly gay man. He lost his Enfield seat in the 2005 general election.

He has been selected for the safe Labour seat of West Derby. He beat the incumbent MP Bob Wareing in a selection meeting, effectively ending Mr Wareing’s 24-years of service.

Mr Portillo, who himself later revealed to have had gay experiences whilst at university was amongst the first to congratulate Mr Twigg by text message.

Mr Twigg lost his seat to David Burrowes, halting what had been an promising ministerial career. Shortly before the 2005 election, he had been promoted to Minister of State for Education.

He told the Liverpool Echo: “I recognise I’m from outside the area and I can’t invent a non-existent Liverpool connection.

“But people have responded to my experience and pledge to move to West Derby as soon as I find somewhere to live.

“If elected, I’ll be a hands-on constituency MP, because that’s how MPs should do the job.

“Some party members said they really wanted a local, but when they met me they felt I could, eventually, become an honorary Scouser.”

Mr Wavering who won his seat in 2005 with a majority of 15,225 said: “The Party leadership (under Blair and Brown) have regarded me as a thorn in their side as I rebelled against their betrayal of the basic principles of the Labour Party.

“Anti-Labour policies, such as privatisation, tuition and top-up fees for students and the stock transfer of council houses (with the threat that no repairs would be carried out if they remained under council control) forced tenants to concede to New Labour’s wishes.

“Worst of all has been the disaster of the invasion of Iraq, an illegal war in defiance of the United Nations. I was proud to march, with nearly two million others, against that policy.”

In 2005, Mr Twigg was handed a fixed penalty £50 fine for drunkenness after a Christmas party at the Foreign Policy Centre where he was Director.