by AFP/ pic by TMR FILE
LONDON – After more than two years spent protesting outside parliament with his EU flags and shouts of “Stop Brexit”, Steve Bray (picture; right) is hoping to take a seat inside by standing for election.
With his blue top hat with a gold band styled on the European Union flag, Bray is a regular fixture in Westminster and gained a national following by repeatedly gate-crashing live TV interviews.
He will now contest the Welsh seat of Cynon Valley, near his home town of Port Talbot, for the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat party on December 12.
The seat is a stronghold of the main opposition Labour party, and at the election two years ago, the Lib Dems won just 585 votes.
The area also voted by a majority for Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum.
But Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson denied he was a joke candidate, insisting: “He is a passionate campaigner.
“He has been well-known within the Remain cause more widely and I am sure he will bring that energy to the campaign here in Wales.”
The Lib Dems, who go into the election defending 20 out of the 650 seats up for grabs, want to withdraw Britain’s notification to leave the EU.
It is a radical position at odds with Labour’s promise of a second referendum and Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s vow to get Britain out of the EU as soon as possible.
Bray admits he has previously voted for Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, but said he was won over by Swinson’s pledge on Brexit.
He has been campaigning outside parliament since September 2017.
In an interview with AFP last year, he said he stayed in a London flat provided by supporters that he shared with a lookalike of Johnson.