Vote for me as your champion, says senior druid standing to be MP

Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon is running as a parliamentary candidate for Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon is running as parliamentary candidate for Salisbury
Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon is running as parliamentary candidate for Salisbury

A senior druid and parliamentary candidate named King Arthur Pendragon has called on the public to choose him as their “champion” in Westminster.

Mr Pendragon is running for a fifth time in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and hopes to bring “spirituality” and the virtues of “truth, honour and justice” to politics.

Previously John Rothwell, the candidate changed his name in 1986 to match that of the mythical King Arthur – whom he claims to have a spiritual lineage with.

Mr Pendragon is also a pagan priest and, since the 1990s, has been head of the Loyal Arthurian Warband.

Under his leadership, the group, which he refers to as the warrior or political arm of the modern druid movement, has been involved in several environmental protests and campaigns such as fighting against English Heritage’s £15 parking charges at Stonehenge.

Dressed in handmade white flowing robes with a red dragon motif and a metal headpiece with a dragon on his forehead outside Salisbury Cathedral, the 70-year-old told the PA news agency: “The only message I’d like to share to all the voters out there is vote with your heart, not your head.

“Vote for who you want to send to Westminster as your champion.

“I think it’s about time we brought a bit of spirituality to politics – I am sworn to the ancient virtues as a senior druid of truth, honour and justice.”

Mr Pendragon added these virtues are seldom practised by political parties nor by the general public.

“Truth merely means if you say it, then it’s true only if you can justify it,” he explained.

“Honour means if you say it, you’ve got to do it – that’s the honourable thing to do, which is sadly lacking in all the political parties at the moment.

King Arthur Pendragon has called for more ‘spirituality’ in politics
King Arthur Pendragon has called for more ‘spirituality’ in politics

“Justice equates to fairness and that’s sadly lacking in society at this moment in time.”

He describes himself as head of the “political warrior arm of the modern druid moment” and said politics is an “arena” for him to fight his cause.

Mr Pendragon does not have a manifesto as he believes they are restrictive and does not believe in party politics, but has campaigned to rid visitors of the £15 parking fees at Stonehenge – which he dubbed as a “pay-to-pray” scheme – and more recently called for human remains to be reburied at the historical site after it was excavated by archaeologists.

“I don’t actually need (a manifesto) as an independent,” he said

“The electorate and people out there who are voting can’t mix and match, but I can because only an independent can basically stand up for a good idea or oppose a bad one, whichever side of the House or political party it comes from.

“That’s what I want to do. I want to challenge them when they’re wrong and support them when they’re right.”

He feels independent candidates should be allowed to appear alongside party leaders in the live TV debates.

Druid dressed in traditional robe standing outside the entrance of Salisbury Cathedral
Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon is running as parliamentary candidate for Salisbury (Sarah Ping/PA)

“I don’t see why the independents don’t get a look in that. That’s the whole point of these debates. It’s about what’s on offer,” he said.

“If I could ask all the leaders of the parties one question and one question alone, I’d ask them: Are they going to stand up for what the people want? Because I don’t believe any of them are.

“If you want a protest vote, I’m your man.

“It’s never a foregone conclusion and all the parties who tell you tactical voting and all of them who tell you there’s no point voting for this person or this party, then what is the point of democracy?”

Mr Pendragon said the first thing he would do if he is elected as MP for Salisbury is consume “Druid Fluid”, saying: “I’ll have a glass of cider. But the next thing I’d do is get on with the job.

“The job is representing the people of Salisbury, not this party or that party or any party, just representing the people.”