A RETIRED phone engineer from Somerset who is one of Britain's biggest ever general election flop wants to form a new country - called 'saxland' Robert Craig, 79, wants Essex, Sussex and the West Country to form a new nation - with Bristol as the capital.

He made Saxland the core of his 2010 bid to become an MP for Bath, which resulted in him getting the fewest votes of any candidate across the country.

But Robert, from Weston-super-Mare, is not easily discouraged and has revived his campaign to win the public over with his vision of Saxland.

He said: "If you look round the world and think of where life is best, you think of Scandinavian countries.

"We need to get down to a smaller size. This country is one of the most centralised in the world. Everything happens in London.

"There are plans to spend billions of pounds renovating Parliament. Projects like Crossrail and HS2 cost billions.

"We have got to pay for it but it's not improving our area."

After the Battle of Ellandun in 824 AD, King Ecgberht ruled over the areas now known as Kent, Essex, Sussex and the South West.

His kingdom has been called Saxland by some historians.

Robert thinks the solution to the UK's problems is a new nation of 18 million people, drawn roughly along the lines of the old Saxland, with Bristol as the capital.

Unlike in the Middle Ages, Mr Craig's Saxland would not include Kent.

He continued: "London needs somewhere to expand. It might as well expand into Kent."

Saxland would not be the only new country, under the proposals from Mr Craig, who wants "more centres of power".

The North would be known as 'England', while London and Kent would be 'Kentland'.

Each area would have a Parliament, elected by the people, with London's Houses of Parliament serving as the seat of power for a "federation" including the new countries.

Robert continued: "We would elect a Government and that would be their choice."

Somerset County Gazette:

BORDERS: Mr Craig's map showing Saxland. PICTURE: SWNS

He would like Saxish, a predecessor of English with a slightly different alphabet, to be brought back in the new nation.

Mr Craig said: "I am not saying everyone has to go round speaking it, but it is like Irish. Not everyone speaks it in Ireland, but some people do."

The campaigner, who is passionate about protecting the ancient language, said "it is early days" when questioned on whether he would like to see it taught in schools.

He has provided the following sample of Saxish: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name" translates as "Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum, si þin nama gehalgod."

Robert has even come up with a Saxland flag, a yellow cross against a red background.

"It is the navy signal flag for the letter 'R'," he explained.

"I chose it because the West Country accent is distinguished by the way we pronounce that letter."

He says he would have no interest in entering Saxland's political system, adding that he is "too old".

His last attempt to bring the idea to light earned him just 31 votes in the 2010 General Election.