Nigel Farage got him out of the contest for Boston. And he kept him out of the one for Thanet. But what the UKIP leader succeeded in doing for Westminster he has failed to do for Wales.
Yes, Neil Hamilton is back – having now been elected as a member of the Welsh Assembly. The former Conservative MP has survived libel cases (he won against the BBC, lost against Mohammed Fayed and withdrew from a lawsuit against the Guardian); a Parliamentary inquiry (which concluded that he had taken cash for questions); false allegations about rape, a not-quite-false claim that he once gave a Hitler salute in the Reichstag, bankruptcy, TV reality shows…and pantomime.
“Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for Wales?” Thomas More says in A Man for All Seasons.
Hamilton doubtless takes a less jaundiced view of the principality. And whatever your view of him, he will undoubtedly stir up the Assembly. His nomination and electoral succcess in Wales, along with that of Mark Reckless, may be a sign that the UKIP leader’s powers within his own party are waning.