Loony Party given Hope with wind­fall

‘Good­will ges­ture’ al­lows Howl­ing Laud to stand

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

ALAN ‘Howl­ing Laud’ Hope, leader of the Of­fi­cial Mon­ster Rav­ing Loony Party, has been given fi­nan­cial back­ing to run in the 2015 gen­eral elec­tion by a UK In­de­pen­dence Party donor.

Ar­ron Banks, who pre­vi­ously backed the Con­ser­va­tives but pledged £1mil­lion to UKIP in Oc­to­ber, has stumped up the £500 nec­es­sary for Mr Hope to stand as a can­di­date MP for Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip.

Mr Hope, whose party aims to satirise Bri­tish pol­i­tics, said he did not think his ac­cep­tance of the of­fer hyp­o­crit­i­cal, say­ing: “It’s more of a friendly ges­ture than any­thing else. It’s not a do­na­tion... Al­right it is.”

He later added: “It’s not a spon­sor­ship or a do­na­tion; it’s a good­will ges­ture. That’s the words I was look­ing for.”

Only last month Mr Hope had shrugged off ru­mours he was think­ing of de­fect­ing to the anti Euro­pean Union party on the BBC’s Daily Pol­i­tics pro­gramme, although he did con­cede ‘there could be some­thing in it’.

He was re­ported to have ex­pressed an in­ter­est in join­ing Nigel Farage’s party in a speech he gave at the re­cent Rochester by­elec­tion, but he told the pro­gramme his com­ments had been ‘tongue in cheek’.

He told the Gazette: “What hap­pened there was I said to Nigel Farage, ‘No, no, no. You’ve got the wrong idea. The word isn’t ‘de­fect’, it’s ‘in­fect’. We’re go­ing to in­fect UKIP with Loony­ism. We’re not go­ing to walk the floor.”

Mr Hope, who sup­ports Heathrow’s ex­pan­sion and wants to build an ex­tra-ter­res­trial land­ing pad at the air­port if elected in May 2015, added: “I’ve al­ways got on with Nigel Farage. I’ve known him a long time. He’s got his opin­ions and I’ve got mine. Ev­ery­one’s en­ti­tled to their opin­ions.”

Busi­ness­man Mr Banks, who is chief ex­ec­u­tive of South­ern Rock In­surance, had pre­vi­ously given £25,000 to the To­ries.

But in Oc­to­ber he claimed for­mer for­eign sec­re­tary Wil­liam Hague had down­played his of­fer to do­nate a fur­ther £100,000, lead­ing him to turn his support to UKIP with a £1m do­na­tion.

A spokesper­son con­firmed the £500 do­na­tion.

n ‘FI­NAN­CIAL BACK­ING’: Alan ‘Howl­ing Laud’ Hope

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