A multi-millionaire former Conservative donor today announced he is forming a new party to fight the general election on a platform of cleaning up the Westminster expenses system.
Spread-betting tycoon Stuart Wheeler will himself stand in the election under the banner of the Trust Party, and hopes to field at least two more candidates elsewhere in the country.
Eurosceptic Mr Wheeler gave £5 million to the Conservatives but was expelled from the party last year for supporting the UK Independence Party.
Today he announced he will stand in the election - expected on May 6 - in the constituency of Bexhill and Battle against Conservative frontbencher Greg Barker.
Mr Barker, a close ally of Tory leader David Cameron and the party's climate change spokesman, was accused of making £320,000 by \"flipping\" his second home to avoid paying capital gains tax on its sale. He made a voluntary payment to the taxman as controversy raged over expenses.
The Trust Party's second candidate, Douglas Taylor, will challenge Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart, who repaid £1,632.50 in allowances for rent and utilities that Sir Thomas Legg's review of previous claims ruled he should not have received.
It is understood the party is also hoping to fight a seat in Wales.
Launching his new party in Westminster today, Mr Wheeler said: \"The biggest problem facing politics in Britain today is the lack of trust in politicians. It has been destroyed by the MPs' expenses scandal.
\"When I decided to stand for Parliament and to establish a new party to campaign on this issue, it seemed obvious that we should call it the Trust Party.
\"Whichever party is in power, I want that party to have trustworthy MPs. You cannot trust the MPs who got themselves into the expenses scandal, and in all the main parties, most of their MPs are standing for re-election, and most of them were caught up in the expenses crisis.
\"MPs complain they don't get paid enough, but their salary of £65,000 put them in the top 5% of earners, and that is without expenses. And they paid themselves huge, tax-free expenses on top of that.
\"And still they abused the system. We know this, because most of them admit they have. Why else have they paid back the random and erratic sums of money they have since their actions were revealed last summer?\"
Mr Wheeler added: \"I'm not here to be prime minister, I'm here solely to make a point, which is that the people have not had their say on the expenses scandal, and nor can they when the only choice they are offered is between equally tainted, equally shameless parties. This scandal is not going to be solved by the people who caused it.\"