Howling Laud Hope

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Alan "Howling Laud" Hope
Alan 'Howling Laud' Hope.jpg
"Howling Laud Hope" still from a video-interview 26 August 2010
Personal details
Born June 1942 (age 72)
Mytchett, Surrey, England
Nationality British
Political party Official Monster Raving Loony Party
Howling Laud Hope with Catmando

Alan "Howling Laud" Hope (born June 1942, Mytchett, Surrey) is the Leader of the United Kingdom's Official Monster Raving Loony Party (OMRLP). On the death in 1999 of the party's founder Screaming Lord Sutch, Hope and his pet cat, Catmando, were jointly elected as leaders of the OMRLP. Since June 2002, Hope has been the party's sole leader following Catmando's death in a road traffic accident.

Hope was the first-ever OMRLP candidate to be elected to public office, when he was elected unopposed to a seat on Ashburton Town Council in Devon in 1987.[1] He subsequently became the Mayor of Ashburton in 1998.[2][3][4] In 2010, Hope was elected unopposed to Fleet Town Council in Hampshire.


Hope was known as Kerry Rapid when he was a back-up singer for rock and roll performer, Screaming Lord Sutch, in the 1960s. As Leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, Sutch made Hope the party's Deputy Chairman in 1982. Hope subsequently became the party's Chairman and Deputy Leader, before becoming Leader following Sutch's death in 1999.

As an OMRLP candidate, Hope was elected unopposed to Ashburton Town Council in Devon in 1987. This caused a dilemma in the party as it had previously been decided that any member who was serious enough to actually win an election for a public office should be expelled from the party. These rules were changed at the 1987 Party Conference to allow Hope to remain a member and official representative of the party. He later rose to become Deputy Mayor, before being made Mayor of Ashburton in 1998. Contrary to a 2001 broadsheet newspaper election report,[5] Hope is not the only OMRLP candidate to have won elected public office.[n 1]

Hope's pub and guesthouse in Ashburton, "The Golden Lion", was the OMRLP's Party Headquarters and conference centre from 1984 until 2000, after which he sold the property and moved to Hampshire, where he took over the Dog and Partridge public house at Yateley until 2011 which served as the new party headquarters.[6]

Upon Sutch's death in 1999, Hope and his ginger tabby cat,[clarification needed] Catmando, were elected as joint leaders of the OMRPL. Catmando served until his death as a result of a traffic accident in July 2002,[7] as a result of which Hope became the sole leader of the party.

Hope stood as a candidate for Aldershot in the 2001 general election where he came last out of seven with 390 votes narrowly behind Arthur Uther Pendragon. He stood in the 2003 Brent East by-election, where he came 13th of 16 candidates with 59 votes in a contest won by the Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Teather. Hope then stood as a candidate in the 2004 Hartlepool by-election polling twelfth out of 14 candidates with 80 votes and again for Aldershot in the 2005 general election, where he took sixth, last place with 553 votes. He stood in the 2006 Blaenau Gwent by-election, where he took sixth, last place with 318 votes; and in the 2007 Sedgefield by-election where he came tenth of 11 candidates with 129 votes. In the 2009 Norwich North by-election, Hope came ninth of 12 candidates with 144 votes.[8]

In the 2010 general election, Hope contested Witney in Oxfordshire against incumbent MP, Conservative Party leader, David Cameron where he came sixth of ten candidates with 234 votes. Cameron held the seat with an increased majority of 22,740 and following coalition talks became Prime Minister.

Hope stood in the town council elections in Fleet, Hampshire in May 2010, and was elected to one of its quota of seats unopposed.[9]

In March 2011, he stood in the Barnsley Central by-election and won 198 votes — eighth out of the nine candidates.[10] In May 2011, he stood in the Leicester South by-election and won 553 votes — last out of five candidates with 1.6% of the vote.

Two 2012 by-elections to elect MPs have been selected by Hope but resulted in the least votes for the party leader (the previous leader was Screaming Lord Sutch who died 1999) other than three of Screaming Lord Sutch's 41 attempts all in the 1980s and Hope's attempts Brent East in 2003 and Hartlepool in 2004: in March 2012 he stood in the Bradford West by-election winning 111 votes — placed last of eight candidates.[11] In November 2012 Hope ran for MP in Manchester Central in its by-election triggered unusually by its MP, Tony Lloyd running for Police and Crime Commissioner and polled, on a very low turnout of 18.2%, tenth out of 12 candidates, with 78 votes, achieving just over a quarter of the vote achieved by the Pirate Party and less than an eighth of the vote of any of the top five candidates, who were members of the largest parties in the UK.[12]

In the South Shields by-election of 2013, Hope came eighth out of nine candidates with 197 votes, which was notably only 155 votes behind the Liberal Democrats' candidate.[13]

In 2003 Hope appeared on Top Gear during the second episode of series 2, in its feature/challenge searching for 'Britain's fastest Political Party' — he came last.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ In 1993, when the British National Party gained its first local councillor, Derek Beackon, Screaming Lord Sutch pointed out that the Official Monster Raving Loony Party already had six.[citation needed]
  1. ^ "BBC NEWS | VOTE2001 | PARTIES | Monster Raving Loony Party". Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Ashburton | Charity Shop Tourism". Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  4. ^ "BBC News | UK Politics | Loony tradition continues at by-election". Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  5. ^ Matthew Tempest (2001-05-21). "Cat pushes for prime minister | Politics". Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  6. ^ "Dog and Partridge, Yateley, Hampshire, GU46 7LR - pub details#". Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  7. ^ "May 21: Cat Mandu". Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ " (Hampshire district) - Fleet town councils - 2010 election results". Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  10. ^ "BBC News - Lib Dems slump to sixth as Labour win Barnsley poll". 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  11. ^ "George Galloway wins Bradford West by-election". BBC. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Parliamentary by-election Manchester Central Constituency". Manchester Council. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Labour holds South Shields as UKIP takes second". New Statesman. 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Screaming Lord Sutch
Official Monster Raving Loony Party Leader
with Catmando (1999–2002)