Bell Principles

The Bell Principles are the first code of conduct for elected representatives - they demand that politicians behave to the highest of standards.
The Independent Network - a non-profit organisation that promotes and supports independent candidates and non-party politicians - asks that all endorsed candidates and supporters agree to these principles.
They were first formulated by the former independent MP Martin Bell and were presented to the Independent Network at a strategy meeting in September 2009. They were unanimously adopted by supporters of the Independent Network and were later edited by members of the Independent Network Executive.
They are seen as a living document and will be continuously edited to reflect the changing world we live in. If you have any comments regarding the Bell Principles, please send them

We will
  • abide wholeheartedly by the spirit and letter of the Seven Principles of Public Life set out by Lord Nolan in 1995: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership
  • be guided by considered evidence, our real world experience and expertise, our constituencies and our consciences
  • be free from the control of any political party, pressure group or whip
  • be non-discriminatory, ethical and committed to pluralism
  • make decisions transparently and openly at every stage and level of the political process, enabling people to see how decisions are made and the evidence on which they are based
  • listen, consulting our communities constantly and innovatively
  • treat political opponents with courtesy and respect, challenging them when we believe they are wrong, and agreeing with them when we believe they are right
  • resist abuses of power and patronage and promote democracy at every level
  • work with other elected independents as a Group with a chosen spokesperson
  • claim expenses, salaries and compensation openly so the public can judge the value for money of our activities.