Croydon MP Andrew Pelling confirms he will be standing at general election
By Aline Nassif
STANDING: Andrew Pelling
Croydon Central MP Andrew Pelling has confirmed today (Wednesday) that he will be standing at the upcoming general election.
Now an independent, the former Tory will be going up against his former close friend, Conservative candidate Gavin Barwell.
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And he will know he could split the Tory vote, allowing Labour candidate Gerry Ryan to win the seat.
He told the Croydon Advertiser: "I'm going to run. I am very pleased with the amount of people who have advised me to stand.
"It's taken me some time to decide but I'm taking part in this to win."
For months Mr Pelling has been hinting that he will stand, but not officially confirmed his intention.
He had won the seat for the Tories by just a handful of votes at the last election.
But in 2007 he was arrested after it was alleged he had assaulted his wife. No charges were ever brought against him, but the party whip was withdrawn, leading to him continuing to serve his constituents as an independent.
He then subsequently took several months off his parliamentary duties while he battled depression.
And just two weeks ago the Advertiser revealed he had tried - and failed - to annul his marriage.
With Mr Pelling announcing that he is standing the Croydon Central seat promises to be one of the most open and unpredictable seats in the country.
*For in-depth coverage of this story see this week's Croydon Advertiser, in shops on Friday.