Working in the Cheshire town of Knutsford back in the day, it did not take long to discover that the real power behind the deeply unpleasant local MP Mostyn Neil Hamilton was his formidable wife Christine. Had she discovered how to get into the Commons chamber to sit alongside him, it is highly likely she would have done so. It was she, not he, who led the charge to confront Martin Bell on Knutsford Heath.
Local politicians for local people
So it is no surprise that Ms Hamilton, using the creative handle @brit_battleaxe, has not been backwards in coming forwards on Twitter, where she has been prepare to engage with devoted followers and regale them with occasional, shall we say, eccentricity. Until she let the cat out of the bag and everything went badly wrong.
Taking up the baton of bigotry handed over by London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, she mused “If the #burka is acceptable then presumably this is too?” The photo, though, was of the KKK, a most unfortunate slip for someone whose husband was an Apartheid apologist, and a speaker at the Springbok Club’s gatherings (a group linked to Thomas Mair, who murdered Jo Cox).
That’s before Hamilton’s fall from grace after he mounted one libel action too many and his assault on the Guardian collapsed, with the resulting front page headline “A liar and a cheat”. Then he lost one of Britain’s safest Tory seats.
Moreover, the formidable Christine was now under further attack, as Matthew Smith noted “When a group of women wearing veils lynch someone then this argument might have some merit. Until then … And does the Muscular Dystrophy society @MDUK_News really need this racist as their ambassador?” What say the charity to that?
Was Ms Hamilton representing their values in Tweeting out a photo of the KKK? They initially deployed a straight bat. “Christine Hamilton's tweet was made in a personal capacity and does not reflect the views of Muscular Dystrophy UK. We believe in a diverse and equal society, and are firmly against any form of discrimination”.
This didn’t work, and Shahid Kamal Ahmad was on hand to spell out why. “An ambassador doesn’t say such things at any time. That’s why they’re ambassadors. You need to remove Christine from the post. If Christine said something antisemitic or racist you’d remove her. You wouldn’t want people to think that you consider Muslims to be fair game for hate”.
And eventually, late last night, Muscular Dystrophy UK bowed to the inevitable and reported the parting of the ways. “Christine Hamilton is no longer an ambassador of MDUK and all links between her and the charity have been severed”.
So now, to paraphrase the man in Life of Brian, Neil Hamilton is disgraced, and so is his wife. Well, she always used to say “we do things together”. And now they have.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at