Rumours are afoot that the major parties have struck a deal over the forthcoming Sedgefield by-election. Sources suggest that all three major parties have agreed to stand aside for Martin Dobbs, who is currently a popular local independent councillor. Under the terms of the arrangement Martin will be subject to the Liberal Democrat and Conservative whip on alternate weeks and is being lined up to serve as a junior government advisor.
A smiling Martin admitted that he had voted for all three parties in the past so the idea made perfect sense to him. Tony Blair supports the initiative saying "Martin makes a perfect cross-party candidate. People are sick of seeing the major parties campaigning against each other. I think that Martin's candidacy will be welcomed by the electorate and will help make elections less divisive".