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Euro singer Ronnie to stand in poll.

Byline: DONNA CARTON

SIXTIES crooner Ronnie Carroll is hoping to be an MEP - with backing from a wealthy squatter.

Twice a Eurovision songster, Carroll plans to stand in Northern Ireland, thanks to funding from a squatter who won ownership of the house in which he lived rent free for 20 years.

George Weiss, 63, - known on the campaign trail as Rainbow George - wants to use the pounds 850,000 from the sale of the house to pursue his political campaign and to relaunch Carroll's singing career.

Weiss has just been granted the freehold of a three-story mews house in Hampstead, north London after claiming squatter's rights.

Such rights are granted if the property owner has made no claim on the house for more than 12 years.

Weiss, who runs the Vote For Yourself Party, first moved into the house in 1969 and stopped paying his pounds 65 rent in 1984 after a dispute with the landlord about roof repairs.

He has had no contact with the landlord since 1990 and so took legal action to claim the house as his own.

He has now put the property on the market and plans to make "radical" Belfast his home.

He said: "All being well, we will register Ronnie Carroll as our candidate in Northern Ireland and give the people there an alternative to the old tribal politics."

Weiss and Carroll will be in Belfast on May 11 but a dispute about election broadcasts is putting a dampener on their plans.

Weiss said: "Ronnie has recorded a version of Thunderclap Newman's Something In The Air and we wanted to do a pop video which would also be an election broadcast but we aren't allowed to broadcast.

"We will use this election as a referendum on whether people should govern themselves. Britain and Ireland should be united - Emerald Rainbow Isles - and party politics and old systems of government replaced with people power."

And Ronnie Carroll, 70, who represented Britain twice in the Eurovision Song Contest - with Say Wonderful Things and Ring-a-Ding Girl - is looking forward to both his musical and political challenges.

He said: "I enjoy standing in elections and first did it because George asked me to. I am looking forward to singing again, too and beginning with Something In The Air is good because it is a revolutionary song and we can use it to promote the political campaign."

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SINGER: Ronnie Carroll
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 9, 2004
Words:403
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