If UKIP’s new leader Henry Bolton was looking for a differentiator from Labour’s proud vegetarian Jeremy Corbyn, he has well and truly found it.
No, it’s not the decision to adopt the Premier League lion’s terrified cousin as a new party logo, it’s much worse than that.
While Corbyn surely wouldn’t hurt a fly, Bolton has gone on record saying he could kill a badger with his bare hands, and then actually doubled down on the claim.
No, this is not a joke.
No, really, we promise, this is not a joke.
Bolton was being quizzed on theoretical UKIP leadership rituals on RT’s satirical show News Thing (yes, that’s the same show responsible for the ‘Maggiez Matez’ video you remember so well).
Earlier questions surrounded eating an entire English flag and wrestling former England captain Terry Butcher, before presenter Sam Delaney delivered the big one.
“[Is it true] you have to hunt a tuberculosis badger across Dartmoor before eventually capturing it and then killing it with your bare hands?” Delaney asked.
Anyone with any experience of interviews would have probably brushed it aside (the question, not the badger). Not Bolton, though.
“I could probably do that. I reckon I could do that… but it’s not part of the initiation into being a leader of UKIP,” Bolton says.
Very strange, but still, that should have been the end of it, right?
Well, not quite. You see, when you give that kind of answer on a TV show – even a less-than-serious one – anyone googling you ahead of a more serious interview will probably find the answer in their research.
That’s especially true when no one really knows who you are, as Sky journalist Niall Paterson said when prefacing a follow-up interview with Bolton.
So, do you clarify that it was the question, not the answer, which was the ridiculous part?
No, of course not. You almost do that, but then you double down on the badger-killing part. Because… no, we can’t think of a good reason why.
On the plus side for Bolton, UKIP are getting more column inches than they probably would have done otherwise.
However, on the other side, he now has to kill a badger or else be outed as a fraud.
Your move, Henry.
(Images: Rex Features)