Belfast Telegraph

Pub Landlord to take on Farage

Al Murray has said he intends to stand for Parliament at the general election in his guise as The Pub Landlord - against UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

The comedian - whose creation is famed for extolling the joys of all things British - plans to stand in Thanet South, Kent, for his newly-formed Free United Kingdom Party

Explaining his decision to stand, The Pub Landlord said: "It seem to me that the UK is ready for a bloke waving a pint around, offering common sense solutions."

His comment will not be lost on many of those familiar with Mr Farage who is often pictured during impromptu lunchtime photocalls with a drink in his hand in a pub.

Oxford-educated Al has created an action plan in the guise of his patriotic character, in which he promises: "I pledge that the UK will leave Europe by 2025 and the edge of the Solar System by 2050. Common Market sense.

"In the meantime Greece to be bought and operated by Kent County Council. Couldn't be worse. Someone to do the bins at least."

In a video posted online he explained: "Let it be known that like many of the Parliamentary hopefuls in the forthcoming election, I have no idea where South Thanet is - but did that stop Margaret Thatcher from saving the Falkland Islands? No."

Al, 46, is standing in a constituency which the Conservative Party won from Labour at the previous election in 2010.

It is already the focus of huge attention due to Mr Farage's decision to stand there as UKIP experiences a surge of support and now has two Parliamentary seats. His party took 5.5 per cent of the votes in the seat five years ago.

A website he has set up for his campaign, carries the slogan: "Other parties offer the moon on a stick. We'll do better than that: a British moon on a British stick."

His decision to stand comes two years after fellow comic Simon Brodkin - known for his character Lee Nelson - handed in nomination papers to stand in a by-election at South Shields, for David Miliband's former seat. He went on to withdraw later the same day.

Other proposals include his pledge on law and order: "Unemployment causes crime: I propose to lock up the unemployed. Common sense."

And on the hot topic of immigration, he says: "Of course the reason they are coming here is because this is the greatest country in the world. The only way to stop them is for a government to change that and make things a whole lot worse. Look no further.

"However, in the meantime, we brick up the Channel Tunnel. With British bricks. Probably have to get some Poles in to do it. Common sense."

In his online address, Al explains: "The reason I'm standing is because the system is broken, we all know it is. You hear people saying 'you shouldn't vote'. Well you should vote boys and girls, you should vote for me."

He also promises "1p a pint", although "crisps will remain at the current price".

The party's logo features an upturned pound sign, in a clear parody of the UKIP symbol.

Earlier this week the Happy Mondays dancer Bez - whose real name is Mark Berry - launched his own political bid as he confirmed his plans to stand for election for his Reality Party in Salford.

Mr Farage's team appeared unconcerned about the threat posed by The Pub Landlord.

A spokesman for the Ukip leader said: "At last, serious competition in the constituency."

In a Twitter message, Mr Farage told his rival: "The more, the merrier! @almurray".

Bookmaker's Ladbrokes installed the comedian as a 66/1 chance to take the seat, and evens to outpoll the Lib Dems, with Mr Farage remaining the firm odds on favourite to take the seat from the Conservatives.

William Hill also made FUKP the fourth favourite behind Labour but still consider Al odds on not to get sufficient votes to retain the £500 deposit candidates must pay to take part.


From Belfast Telegraph