A Brexit Party candidate is taking carpetbagging to the next level by standing for the party with a registered address that is 14,500 miles away in Australia.
Ed Punchard, whose family is reported to originally hail from South Devon, only moved to Tynemouth in November, and his address on the ballot paper is still in the southern hemisphere.
Before the election he had only ever “passed through” Tynemouth, he said in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).
He told Tynemouth voters on Twitter that he is “not taking your vote for granted”.
MORE: Leading Brexit Party candidate lives in France and won’t say if he’ll move if he winsAccording to the Press and Journal, Punchard first moved to Australia from Aberdeen in 1988, 31 years ago, having survived the Piper Alpha disaster.
He told SMH that he had applied online to be a Brexit Party candidate out of concern for seeing the Brexit vote through.
He asked for a seat on the North Sea because of his previous experience on the oil rig, which lay off the coast of Aberdeen.
In a tweet that heavily suggests a connection to the constituency, he said: “I am back on the North Sea coast after many years in this beautiful constituency of Tynemouth.”
The candidate, who is now a filmmaker, told the SMH that he had reassured himself that the party is not racist.
He told the paper: “I looked up what they were saying and couldn’t see anything crazy, extreme or unpalatable; I couldn’t see any nasty racist stuff.
“I saw diversity in the people I was dealing with and I saw their politics were from everywhere.”
Punchard is up against Labour’s Alan Campbell in a constituency that voted 52% to Remain.