Andrew Dipper

Comedian Lee Nelson announces plans to stand in South Shields by-election

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Image: Ellis O’Brien

Lee Nelson has announced plans to contest the South Shields by-election on 2 May – meaning he could take David Miliband’s seat in parliament.

Nelson, the character created by stand-up Simon Brodkin, this morning said he will stand for Lee Nelson’s Well Good Party, and, on the steps of South Shields’ Town Hall, outlined his 17-point manifesto for “a Well Great Britain.”
Revolutionary policies include issuing each child with scratch cards at birth and upping the recommended daily allowances for alcohol.

After handing in his nomination papers this morning, Nelson said: “I want to be your next MP, I want to serve the constituents, better the lives of the people of Great Britain; but mainly, like every other MP, to get 65-grand a year, a second home and anything I can get away with on expenses.”

The seat was vacated after former Foreign Secretary Miliband called time on politics to take up a chief executive role with US charity the International Rescue Committee.

In character, Nelson added: “One of the Miliband twins, I ain’t sure which one, has abandoned you to take a gap year in America. Which means he’ll be in South Shields just as often as he was before.

“I’m here now, and I spent all morning speaking to real people on the streets of the North East and I can tell you now – I didn’t understand a word they said.”

It is the latest publicity stunt by Brodkin after the comedian was arrested for warming up alongside Manchester City players – as another of his characters, footballer Jason Bent.

Brodkin was also thrown out of Madame Tussauds for trying to install a waxwork of himself, and in November the TV comic staged a spoof shop-lifting of his own DVD – only to be apprehended by a police community support officer.

UPDATE: Later in the day, Brodkin (as character Lee Nelson) announced on Twitter that he was withdrawing from the election race.