13 Mar 2015

Political heavyweight Al Murray’s stunt fails to take off

It’s the time before an election when party high commands start imposing last-minute candidate on local constituencies – what’s known in the trade as parachuting them in.

Well, today the comic pub landlord Al Murray hoped to parachute in, down in Kent. Readers will recall that Mr Murray is standing as an FUKP candidate against the Ukip leader Nigel Farage in South Thanet.

So this morning the press were summoned to an aerodrome in a place called Headcorn to watch Mr Murray descend from the sky. Only it all went a bit wrong.

Not in a horrible way. Not in the way it went wrong when Nigel Farage crashed out of the sky in his plane and was nearly killed, when standing in Buckingham in 2010. No, in a cock-up kind of way.

Mr Murray approached us many assembled reporters and cameramen and announced that he’d been told he was too heavy to jump. He got a bit annoyed when I suggested he really meant he was too fat.


And my question was a touch unfair. Mr Murray is tall (6′ 3″) but isn’t that overweight, though he later stood around trying to push out his beer belly for the benefit of the cameras.

But he wouldn’t tell us how much he weighed, claiming it was all something to do with metric weights. And he admitted the aerodrome wasn’t even in the South Thanet constituency. In fact, it’s a long way away – an hour by car.

“You couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery, could you?” I suggested, again perhaps a bit too aggressively. “I’ve been to a lot more breweries than you have,” the pub landlord replied, clearly rather peeved.

And then he and his team were off, to an event which is genuinely in South Thanet.

At a pub, of course. For a sandwich lunch.

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