This morning, I listened to Nigel Farage being interviewed on BBC 3C radio which covers the Buckingham constituency.
Nigel, raised the issue of expenses and when pressed gave the impression of absolute modesty in personification. He implied that he was flying economy on Monday morning and that all he drew was a modest staffing budget. He even threw the figure of £40 into the discussion, again, strongly implying that we were all listening to the words of a frugal man.
I was reminded instantly of the last time I heard him being interviewed on the Today programme around June. The interviewer then asked him was it true that he had drawn a million pounds in expenses. Nigel replied that a million was a gross under exaggeration and that it had in fact been much, much more than that. He then went on to almost brag about how much he had himself drawn down since he became an MEP. He was of course highlighting another area of EU waste.
I could hardly believe this morning that I was listening to the same man.
At 8.30 I then flicked to Radio 4 and heard him being interviewed again by the same interviewer as in June. Not a mention of the claims he made in what was probably the last time she interviewed him.
So is Radio 4 going to give him an easy ride?
Everyone knows how I feel about the pro-Euro, Labour party supporting Speaker, who was elected by the Labour party to - in the words of one of their own whips - “stick it to the Conservatives”.
I am about as Euro sceptic as it gets. I firmly believe that if David Cameron were to announce an intention to all but withdraw from the EU, it would have a huge impact on the Irish vote and the Conservative party would virtually wipe the electoral board clean at the next election.
However, what is far more important than anything else is the need for all politicians to retain integrity.
Someone will expose the June interview and make comparisons with the interview given on 3CR this morning. That won’t be a good day for anyone involved in politics.
I have no doubt that Nigel presents a real threat to John Bercow and it is sad to see that once again another tradition is lost - that of the Speaker being un-challenged. However, now that Nigel has thrown his hat into the ring I am sure others will too. Nigel may think he has a strong chance of defeating a 13,000 majority, however, the only real challenge could come from a strong independent Conservative candidate and if that day arrives, Nigel, who this morning displayed almost no local knowledge or interest, may regret his decision to challenge the Speaker .