Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heard the One about the Comedian Who Wanted to Be an MP - but Then Didn't? Confusion as Comic Withdraws from Race to Succeed Miliband Hours after He Entered It

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heard the One about the Comedian Who Wanted to Be an MP - but Then Didn't? Confusion as Comic Withdraws from Race to Succeed Miliband Hours after He Entered It

Article excerpt

Byline: Anthony Barnes? 0191 201 6262 ? jnl.newsdesk@ncjmedia.co.uk

IT was a joke that very swiftly went flat. TV comic Lee Nelson had announced he was to stand for Parliament in the by-election for David Miliband's former seat of South Shields.

The character, who was created by funnyman Simon Brodkin and has his own BBC3 series, intended to contest the election on May 2 after handing in his nomination papers.

He was set to stand in the election as Nelson, standing for Lee Nelson's Well Good Party, and read out a speech on the steps of South Shields Town Hall yesterday morning.

He delivered a "17-point manifesto for a Well Great Britain" with a series of eye-opening policies, including issuing each child with lottery scratch cards at birth, and upping the recommended daily allowances for drinking.

He promised to "put South Shields on the map" and then joked that he'd looked on a map and couldn't find it.

But despite all the publicity and media ttention, it seems to have been a ruse as by 5pm last night, he had withdrawn his nomination.

Earlier this month Brodkin, who is qualified as a doctor, escaped prosecution following his arrest in March for sneaking on to the pitch and training with the Manchester City team prior to a Premier League match.

He had dressed as one of his characters for the stunt at Goodison Park and was given a six-month conditional caution at North Liverpool Community Justice Centre.

His antics in South Tyneside mean voters will get the chance to pick their MP from nine prospective candidates after the final list was announced.

The seat became vacant after former Foreign Secretary Mr Miliband - brother of Labour leader Ed - announced he was stepping down to take up a role as chief executive of the International Rescue Committee in the United States. Mr Miliband's departure came two-and-a-half years after a bruising Labour leadership battle which pitted him and his brother against each other, and which was won by a whisker by Ed on the back of trade union votes. …

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