Poet Phil Lucas was left bemused after being sent an invite to stand as an MP for a constituency in a town more than 40 miles away and where he has never lived.

Hove-based Mr Lucas was surprised to receive an email suggesting he put himself forward as a Labour Party candidate for a by-election for Croydon North.

Mr Lucas, 42, saw the funny side and published the invite on his blog, along with a tongue-in-cheek acceptance letter.

The email told Mr Lucas that he was eligible to apply because he had been a member of the party for more than year.

He said: “I’m pretty sure it is a standard invite that goes out to people who are eligible but it still made me smile and I thought I’d have a little bit of fun with it.

“I actually like Croydon. I really like modern architecture and some of the buildings it has are great. However, I don’t think a political road is one that I would go down – even if I got an invite to stand in Brighton or Hove.”


In his response, Mr Lucas wrote: “I am flattered. You’ve picked the right man though because I love Croydon, always have done.

Run-in “From my youth, where I spent hours hanging around the Whitgift Centre, right up to now when I pass it on the train towards Brighton and I think to myself, ‘Ah, I used to have fun in Croydon, but I wouldn’t want to live there, God forbid.

“I did have a rather unfortunate run-in with a quite sozzled lady in a Burger King recently and I don’t mind telling you that it put me off the area a bit.”

Mr Lucas went on to say he lived a clean and honest life, who paid his way in First Class and could be found most mornings “doing nothing more sinister than stroking dogs and feeding the seagulls on the seafront.”

Labour sends out invites to eligible members of the party when a by-election is called, inviting them to consider putting themselves forward.

Prankster Mr Lucas hit the pages of The Argus in April with his wacky adverts posted in newsagents’ windows.

He also left people double-taking in the street with his “fact” sheets stuck to lampposts, bus shelters and car windscreens.

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