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Tuesday, 12 June, 2001, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Doctor MP welcomed
Martin Bell and Dr Richard Taylor
The retired NHS consultant who provided the biggest shock of the election by trouncing a Labour minister has been shown the ropes at Westminster by former MP Martin Bell.

Dr Richard Taylor, new independent MP for Wyre Forest, fought his campaign in protest at the downgrading of a local hospital.

A tremendous reaction from the people against a very powerful government

Dr Richard Taylor on his election
He beat David Lock, a junior minister in the Lord Chancellor's department, by a resounding majority of 17,630.

Dr Taylor, who takes over as the country's only independent MP after Mr Bell failed to win re-election, said representing his constituents was the "greatest privilege you can have".

Mr Bell, who famously beat Neil Hamilton in 1997 on an anti-sleaze ticket, said Dr Taylor would be an outstanding MP and would help redress the "imperfections" of the party politics that dominate the Commons.

The former war correspondent, wearing his trademark crumpled white suit, told the new MP he should "never be afraid to ask" for advice about the mysterious ways of the Commons.

The two men attended the same school, Leys School in Cambridge.

But Dr Taylor said he was looking forward to representing the people "and no-one else", and insisted he would not be daunted as a "new boy" in parliament.

Dr Richard Taylor
Dr Taylor: I will not be daunted.
In his acceptance speech on election night, he said: "The way I view this is as a tremendous reaction from the people against a very powerful government, against a very powerful political system that over-rides the will of the people."

Dr Taylor has indicated he would like to join a select committee where he could hold the government to account.

And he is confident he can win back some of the services lost at the Kidderminster hospital at the heart of his election campaign.

He had already received letters from senior NHS doctors who had not dared speak out before, he said.

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08 Jun 01 | Vote2001
Independent doctor trounces Labour
08 Jun 01 | Vote2001
Health worry fuels doctor's win
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