We pick out the most wrong and unstable Leavers of the week
10. Gordon Elcott
Readers who remember the chorus of Jilted John’s eponymous top 10 hit from 1978 would have nodded with recognition when this previously unknown 55-year-old rang into a Five Live programme about floating voters, introduced himself as a traditional Green now pondering a switch to Labour and then revealed he’d voted Leave in the referendum because ‘I wanted to see the end of UKIP’.
With host Peter Allen incredulous, our hero added: ‘I didn’t think we’d vote for it though, I didn’t think the lemmings would jump off the cliff. Now I’m full of regret.’
Caroline Lucas will be proud to know that by show’s end, Gordon had returned to the Greens… presumably because he considered that the best way of getting Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10.
9. Patrick O’Flynn
Paul Nuttall’s chief adviser ended the election campaign moaning about BBC bias after his party’s positions failed to make it into discussions about contrasting policies about tax on Radio 4’s PM and the NHS on BBC One’s News at Ten. Doubtless the omissions were purely accidental but as he weeps his illiberal tears, O’Flynn is just going to take advice readily proffered by UKIP voters to us Remoaners – suck it up and get on with it.
The Kippers’ dismal performance at this election means their major party status at the 2022 poll is now in doubt, meaning their right to guaranteed airtime and an extra party election broadcast are in doubt. It’s also highly unlikely that Question Time will feel forced to include one of their Keystone Kops on a quarter of all future shows, as they have done over the past seven years.
UKIP now have no MPs, are down to 293 councillors after losing 145 seats at the last elections and (the single benefit of Brexit) will soon see all of their 24 MEPs sent home from Brussels, ending a lucrative sideline for the likes of O’Flynn. How do we live without them? We’ll just have to muddle through somehow.
8. Kate Hoey
Labour’s Madame Brexit clung on in Vauxhall after using possibly the most creative excuse ever. Questioned about that time she was on the boat with Farage, Kate told the Evening Standard: ‘I wasn’t on the boat with Farage.’
How did that work then? Here’s Hoey’s explanation: ‘I was on the boat but I was there to support the fishing unions I’d met in Aberdeen. Just because I’m photographed with Farage, what does that say? Just like people who were photographed with Idi Amin, it doesn’t mean they support Idi Amin.’
Well, no. But very few people who had to meet Idi Amin chose to be photographed cavorting around and with him as Kate did with Nigel on the bow of HMS Brexit, looking for all the world like Titanic’s Jack and Rose viewed through the FaceApp old age filter. Top marks though for inadvertently comparing Farage to a brutal, corrupt dictator who is said to have fathered 43 children. If he doesn’t get that knighthood, The Last King of South Thanet has a nice ring to it.
7. Greg Knight
A Tory winner in East Yorkshire, perhaps because of his campaign video, which begins with a normal to-camera appeal but ends with a 1980s-style disco jingle promising ‘You’ve got accountability, With Conservative delivery, Make sure this time you get it right, Vote for Greg Knight.’
Greg’s website lists one of his achievements as being ‘named as one of the 50 most influential people in the Historic Vehicle movement’, while on April 1 this year he issued a press release revealing that the Eiffel Tower was to be moved to Bridlington. He later told the Telegraph: ‘I’ve never aspired to be Alan Partridge but I guess if I quit politics I can get a job at a local radio station.’
6. Aidan Powlesland
Failed to win South Suffolk for UKIP despite a late policy announcement designed to build on his demand that the government must develop interstellar travel and begin fracking in the asteroid belt for ‘water and/or platinum’ by 2026.
Powlesland told the Daily Mirror he wanted to spend £8 billion per year building flying aircraft carriers, with another £1 billion a year for ‘rail guns’ and lasers to defend them. Common sense policies for a common sense universe – in this case the Marvel Universe, as Aidan appears to have based this bold initiative on how cool Nick Fury’s ship looks in the Avengers movies.
5. Liam Fox
Missing in action during much of the campaign, the Secretary of State for Trade retained his North Somerset seat despite not even being bothered to turn up at his local hustings. Instead of appearing in Nailsea on June 1 with his fellow candidates, Foxy was 200 miles away in Lancaster, presumably trying to negotiate tariff-free access to the lucrative Fleetwood and Fylde markets post-Brexit.
Given virtually a free ride by UKIP’s decision not to contest his constituency, Dr Fox’s sole memorable moment of the entire campaign came on the final day of campaigning when, in Cardiff, he told BBC Wales that he had breakfasted on ‘leftover moussaka on toast’ – not just an abomination but a culinary metaphor for how truly batshit things are about to get.
4. Katie Hopkins
Still employed by Mail Online, despite writing this week that she wanted to punish Sadiq Khan ‘like I would take my dog, wipe its face in its own mess, the mess it made’. But still happily sacked by LBC and now looking to have endangered another revenue stream after telling Fox News viewers ‘we do need internment camps’.
Fox & Friends co-host Clayton Morris popped up shortly after Katie’s segment to call the remarks ‘reprehensible’, adding, ‘on behalf of the network, I think all of us here find that idea reprehensible here at Fox News Channel. Just to be clear’.
So to summarise: Katie Hopkins is too right-wing for the radio station which employs Nigel Farage and Julia Hartley-Brewer and too right-wing for the TV station which gave us Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes. How long before we hear ‘she’s a bit extreme for me’, from Milo Yiannopoulos?
3. Jacob Rees-Mogg
The result of genetically splicing Lord Snooty and Walter The Softy is back as North East Somerset’s MP despite a clueless hustings performance in which he called food banks ‘absolutely fantastic’.
Rees-Mogg, to be congratulated this time around for bravely campaigning without his nanny, explained that emergency food was needed simply because ‘there are timing issues. Sometimes people just run out of money in the middle of the week and need help’. What a relief! We all thought there was serious underlying problem but it turns out it’s just 22,000 individual budgeting errors every week which are making people hungry and desperate!
2. Boris Johnson
The lying Foreign Secretary, who is a liar, was let out of his box in the campaign’s final days for a series of less than triumphant personal appearances. When he wasn’t busy lying about Jeremy Corbyn, Boris could be seen blowing kisses at one Labour representative, attempting to wrestle another and, most memorably, being heckled at Oxford University by students holding a banner reading ‘What dead animal have you f*cked?’
But there was an interesting slip in a Today programme interview when Johnson told listeners: ‘There are huge sums of money we can take back. There’s a £10 billion net contribution we make every year, that must come back.’
Hmmm – so that’s around £192 million a week. Somewhat different to the £350 million a week which Boris told us would be flooding back into Britain and the NHS if we voted for Brexit. Still, what’s a missing £158 million when you are a massive liar like Boris Johnson?
1. Theresa May
Slogan-repeating, U-turn performing, interview-dodging, costings-shunning, public-avoiding Chauncey Gardiner who called a general election about Brexit, then spent the next 50 days trying her hardest not to talk seriously about Brexit.
Yes, she won. But in the process she’s been cruelly exposed, has seen her trust ratings decimated and her hope of a 200-seat majority destroyed. Now, battered and bruised, comes the easy bit: Negotiating with the EU. ‘Let’s move forward together,’ she tells us, urging us to join hands with her as we run through the wheat field towards the cliff edge.