'Rocket man' reverend standing at Peterborough by-election wants 'unified' country to make the world a better place

Dick Rodgers campaigning in the city centre
Dick Rodgers campaigning in the city centre
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A reverend known for campaigning with a 'home made missile' on the back of a motorbike says he would help create a "unified sense of national purpose" if elected at the Peterborough by-election.

Dick Rodgers of the Common Good party is one of 15 candidates contesting the June 6 vote following the recall of Fiona Onasanya.

The reverend from Birmingham has stood in numerous elections in the past, and according to the Birmingham Mail "first hit the headlines in the 2004 European election when he paraded around with a home made missile on the back of his bike".

The orthopaedic surgeon was in Cathedral Square yesterday speaking to voters to understand why the city voted Leave at the 2016 EU referendum.

Explaining why he is contesting the city seat, he told the Peterborough Telegraph: "I'm standing for two reasons. One is that I want us to stay in the European Union - it has created a friendly, positive, optimistic spirit in Europe that was not there in 1945, so the point of the EU is a good one.

"The second, more important thing, is we need a new spirit in the country. We need a unified sense of national purpose, and we are suffering greatly by not having a shared purpose for our national life.

"In the Second World War our country had a shared purpose. It became a team - there were tough times, but people of that generation can look back at the amazing things they achieved together, and I think the job of our country ought to be making our world a better place.

"We need to become an energising society with a unifying sense of purpose, and in my view that should be to make the world a better place which I know sounds twee, but actually matters hugely."

The reverend's policies include introducing elected regional governments and making money printed by the Bank of England the "property of our society", and not a debt which "adds interest to the commercial banks".

All of the candidates at the by-election can be viewed here.