I heard a frankly bizarre interview on BBC 3 Counties Radio this afternoon and then, somewhat to my surprise, encountered the interviewee earlier this evening.
Mr Ujjawal Bhardwaj (also known as UB) is standing as the UKIP candidate in Luton South for the 2017 general election; unfortunately, he is somewhat frustrated that his 2015 predecessor Dr Yasin Rehman has chosen not to stand again for UKIP but rather to endorse Conservative candidate Dean Russell.
UB has taken exception to a Conservative election leaflet which references the endorsement from Dr Yasin Rehman as he fears that people will mistakenly think it refers to him. Given that the leaflet clearly shows the name of the previous candidate and the 2015 date, this seems unlikely. UB's claim that people might mistakenly think from the picture that he and Dr Rehman are the same person also seems unlikely; I really don't think they are lookalikes.
All of which led to the bizarre situation of encountering a panicked and agitated UB outside my local Co-Op proffering his own leaflet and asking if I had seen the Conservative one (I did later point out to him that I was included in the group photo on the very page he was waving in my face). I also enjoyed his confident claim that he was expecting to receive 10,000 votes on Thursday. His enthusiasm is clear but perhaps a little misguided; given that the entire campaign team seems to have dwindled to one man, it is a bold claim to think he might almost double the vote.
We did also discuss the paradox that by defaming the Conservative candidate (and he should be thankful that some of the claims he made were not recorded), he risked diverting votes from a Brexit supporting candidate and sending them back to someone who voted remain and subsequently abstained on Article 50 - a strange position for a UKIP candidate, even if that candidate is ex Labour.
Not long now until the campaign is over, we go to the polls and then find out the result. I doubt UB will get his 10,000 votes but I am sure he will learn from his campaign experience.