Published: 11:07, 29 November 2021
| Updated: 11:10, 29 November 2021
Sheppey's Mad Mike Young is entering the political arena once again to try to win the former seat of Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath.
The veteran Monster Raving Loony Party member is standing in the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election this Thursday.
The vacancy was caused by the death of James Brokenshire who had been Conservative MP for the constituency since 2010.
Mad Mike from Minster, who gives his age as 70-and-a-quarter, said: “I can’t wait to get out and about to start knocking on doorsteps with my message that if you don’t usually vote, then vote unusually and vote Loony.”
The community centre caretaker says he has gained "extensive experience as an elected councillor" in local government on Minster Parish Council and, crucially, still has his own teeth.
He actually served on Minster parish council from 2003 to 2015 but gleefully admits he has lost six general elections and "innumerable" borough and county elections.
He added: "This week is my first parliamentary by-election. My flagship policy is reform of the statute book: we pledge to repeal Sod’s Law."
He has promised to take along his battered black briefcase full of bananas which he traditionally shares with fellow candidates at the count while wearing his distinctive top hat and tailcoat. This year there are 11 candidates standing. He has also handed out "million pound notes" picked from his "money tree" which he has promised will become legal tender if his party ever wins power.
The constituency was created in 1983 and has only elected Conservative MPs. For 18 years it was represented by former Prime Minister Edward Heath who had represented the area's previous constituencies.
Old Bexley and Sidcup is in south-east London and includes East Wickham, Falconwood, Welling, Blackfen, Bexley and Sidcup.
James Brokenshire was first elected in 2010. He had previously been MP for Hornchurch from 2005 until its abolition in 2010.
In 2019, he was re-elected with a majority of nearly 19,000 votes, the largest majority he had ever achieved. He died from cancer on October 7. Nominations for the by-election closed on November 9.
Also standing are: Elaine Cheeseman (English Democrat); Daniel Francis (Labour); Louie French (Conservative); Richard Hewison (Rejoin EU); David Kurten (Heritage); John Poynton, (Ukip); Simone Reynolds (Liberal Democrats); Richard Tice (Reform UK) and Carol Valinejad (CPA).