Toby Jug: From Loony to Eccentric in UK politics
Lord Toby Jug, who has died aged 53, contested parliamentary and council seats in Britain for the Monster Raving Loony Party, founded by his friend and "mentor", Screaming Lord Sutch (aka David Sutch).
In 2014, after a bitter split with Alan "Howling Laud" Hope, who became joint party leader with his pet feline, Cat Mandu, after Sutch took his own life in 1999, Jug set up the Eccentric Party, for which he stood against Boris Johnson in Uxbridge during the 2015 British general election, polling 50 votes.
Jug, whose birth name was Brian Borthwick (he changed his name by deed poll), played bass guitar for Sutch's band, the Savages, and canvassed in a leopard-skin blazer and top hat under the slogan "Don't be a mug, vote Toby Jug".
His policies included putting superglue in lip balm to reduce obesity; introducing "text lanes" to stop people on their cellphones from walking into lampposts; installing photographs of Russell Brand at airports to deter immigration; and requiring young people to read a book for every 10 selfies they take.
The son of a docker, he was born in London and became an apprentice painter and decorator after leaving school. He also performed as a musician and stand-up comedian around London.
He met Sutch in the late 1980s and joined him to fight more elections than any man in history and lose the deposit each time. "Losing is the new winning, don't you know?" Jug said.
He stood in four general elections, collecting his most votes (548) in 2010.
He fared better in local elections. In 2009 he won 566 votes (6.23%) in the Cambridgeshire county council elections, well ahead of two Labour candidates in the ward of St Ives, a result he described as "a Loony landslide".
In the next county council elections, in 2013, he called for the "neutering" of the town's hairdressers, charity shops and takeaways "so they stop breeding and messing up the High Street". When he dropped all his election posters in the River Ouse, he explained that it was an appeal to floating voters. He polled 197 votes.
There was disagreement over the reasons for his departure from the Loonies.
Jug complained that under Hope the party was no longer funny, while Hope claimed that Jug had been expelled over his criticisms of a pub chain - which the party had been trying to attract as a sponsor - for planning to open a bar in St Ives, and for his attacks on Nigel Farage, with whom Hope seems to have enjoyed a pint-toting friendship.
JOINING THE LABOUR PARTY
Jug subsequently gave an interview in which he described a long struggle with alcoholism that had left him homeless and near death, from which he had recovered with the aid of the Gainsborough Foundation, an alcoholism treatment service in the Huntingdon area.
After contesting Uxbridge in 2015, Jug announced that he was joining the Labour Party and intended to vote in the leadership contest, but added: "They're all as barmy as each other so it's very hard to choose."
Jug had two sons, who survive him.
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019