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Wannabe baby-kisser lies on political honesty phone-in

Derby council candidate assumes false identity

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A Derby council wannabe's political career got off to a promising start when he lied on a radio phone-in about honesty in politics.

Ashley Waterhouse, Tory candidate for the city's Normanton ward, got on the blower to Radio Derby's breakfast show yesterday to "back calls for election candidates to face more rigorous screening of their backgrounds".

The BBC explains that in the run-up to the 5 May elections, all callers are specifically asked if they're standing for election.

Waterhouse said he wasn't, because he was in fact "Paul in Normanton".

The wheels came off the cunning deception when Radio Derby recognised the 22-year-old's voice and phone number. Breakfast show host Phil Trow explained: "When we discovered it was his phone number, we phoned him back and asked him whether he was Ashley Waterhouse. He denied it then.

"We phoned him back three times and had three different conversations and he came up with a whole list of elaborate excuses. Eventually he phoned back and did confess."

When quizzed as to why he'd decided to play Paul from Normanton, Waterhouse offered: "At the end of the day we all make mistakes, don't we? As the joke goes, 'How can you tell a politician is lying? Because he moves his lips', as I am now."

He stressed that he alone was responsible for the false identity ruse, and absolved Derby South Conservative Association of any involvement in the subterfuge.

Waterhouse offered to fall on his sword, but the association rejected his resignation. Its chairman, Phil Bailey, said: "I think it was a genuine mistake, I don't think it was deceit and lies. I just think he wanted to get his point over and I think it was the only way he could see to do it." ®

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