The Bell Principles

The Bell Principles are thought to be the first set of conduct guidelines created by a political organisation for its affiliated candidates and representatives. They are under constant review.

The Independent Network requires all endorsed candidates to agree to these principles. The Principles are used by the Independent Network to endorse and influence the conduct - but not the policies - of its affiliated candidates

The endorsement process helps the electorate to know that a group of people have looked at endorsed candidates and judged them to be good quality representatives.


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
  • claim expenses, salaries and compensation openly so the public can judge the value for money of our activities.
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