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By Paul James in Local People

MONSTER Raving Loony Party veteran Alan Hope has suffered a rare attack of seriousness over the accuracy of historical records.

The co-founder of the famously silly gang of offbeat and fun-poking politicians has found fault with his performance in the polls on the internet.

One respected encyclopaedic website had wickedly erased him completely from the 1987 General Election in Teignbridge.

Mr Hope, anxious that his future biographers have access to the correct information about his long and distinguished part in the British political scene during the Thatcher years, was puzzled by his omission from the count at Newton Abbot 30 years ago.

The web record he scrutinised not only overlooked him but put someone called Lorraine Golding in his place.

Alan, who used to run Ashburton’s Golden Lion Hotel, rang up his old pals on the Mid-Devon Advertiser to see if their records were remotely accurate.

He had tried Teignbridge Council, but they told him their records did not go so far back into the mists of time.

But the local rag’s extensive archives came to his rescue by being in complete accord with the great man’s memory.

In the write-up of his brilliant showing in the 1987 contest, the small print at the fag-end of the story rightly confirmed that Alan Hope sneaked home fourth – and last – with a tally of 312 votes which amounted to 0.54 per cent of the electorate.

And nothing in the report suggested that Lorraine Golding had taken part in the proceedings.

It’s thought the error may have been due to a slip of the keyboard as the aforesaid parliamentary hopeful was a part of the political scene 10­ years later for the Rainbow Dream Ticket Party, which has no affiliation with Mr Hope’s Loonies.

History records that Lorraine Golding was not duly elected all those years ago.

A grateful Alan said: ‘It just goes to show that what you read in newspapers is sometimes true, especially if you read the Mid-Devon Advertiser!’

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