Lord Toby Jug on growing up in Stratford and the ‘extremist’ Boris Johnson
- Credit: PA WIRE
Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Jeremy Corbyn – they’re all nuts, according to the leader of the Eccentric Party of Great Britian.
And that man – Lord Toby Jug – has seen his fair share of characters, having been raised in Newham and spent his life canvassing for votes in a leopard-skin blazer and top hat.
Born in Forest Gate Hospital the year before England won the World Cup, 50-year-old Lord Toby – his legal name since 1991 – was an apprentice painter and decorater, landscape gardener and musician before joining the Monster Raving Loony Party.
“I met Screaming Lord Sutch in East Ham Working Men’s Club in 1989,” he said.
“He was doing shock horror rock music before Marilyn Manson or Alice Cooper.
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“We got on like a house on fire and he asked me then to be a candidate – and started calling me Lord Toby Jug.”
The former pupil of Rokeby School, in Barking Road, lived in John Barnes Walk – so it seemed natural in 1992 that he challenge MP Tony Banks, Baron Stratford, in the Newham North West seat.
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“We need more people like Tony Banks,” Lord Jug said.
“He congratulated me on the stage and said, ‘You are by far the most sensible candidate here’.”
With his headquarters in the old Princess Amelia pub – in Henniker Road, Stratford – Lord Jug planned to improve on his 252 votes in 1997, the year Labour won its biggest ever landslide.
He stood then in the newly created West Ham seat, again challenging Tony Banks, and managed exactly 300 votes.
“It was a good night – I was invited back to Labour election HQ, met Tony Blair and watched the election unfold,” he said.
“I’ve seen a lot of the big politicians rise and fall.”
Among the figures he has seen rise are Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson.
“I invited Boris to join the party,” Lord Toby said. “I went round with a jug of water and a comb to tidy his hair up.
“But he’s too much of an extremist for us – a tad too bonkers.”
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, meanwhile, is simply a “fruitcake”.
“I’ve met him at various by-elections,” Lord Jug said.
“Ukip are just pretenders – our policy on the EU was that we have an ‘in, out or shake it all about’ referendum.”
But proud East Ender Lord Jug, whose father was a docker, reserves his ire for the Labour Party.
“Jeremy Corbyn is obviously mad,” he said. “The way the party is at the moment, we should sue them for breach of patent.
“They are so mad – I even registered as a member to vote in the election and they let me slip through the net.”
But for all the politics, the lord – who now lives in Cambridgeshire – misses the borough he left in 1997.
“It was a great area,” he said.
“You really did leave your doors open at night – but of course no-one had anything worth stealing.
“I miss the pie and mash shops and all the pubs and fantastic characters.”
But would he stand here again?
“Never say never,” he said. “There could be enough bonkers people, but not as many as before. That’s the price of progress, I suppose.”
Lord Jug is looking to form a Newham branch of the Eccentic Party of Great Britain and hopes to set up its HQ in a pub, chip shop or club. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested