"Comedy terrorist" takes on David Cameron

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010
Making his point in Mr Cameron’s back yard: Aaron Barschak, the self-styled “comedy terrorist”

Making his point in Mr Cameron’s back yard: Aaron Barschak, the self-styled “comedy terrorist”

Two Jewish candidates from rather different sides of the political spectrum are attempting to overturn David Cameron's 14,000 majority.

Self-styled "comedy terrorist" Aaron Barschak - best-known for gate-crashing Prince William's 21st birthday party while dressed as Osama bin Laden - is hoping to become MP for Witney, the Oxford constituency held by the Tory leader.

Fellow candidate Joe Goldberg is less controversial. He is a Labour councillor in Haringey, north London.

Mr Barschak, 43, is standing as a single-issue independent candidate campaigning for asylum seekers' rights. His father, Fred, fled to Britain from Austria in 1938.

Author and journalist Will Self has donated £150 towards his deposit. The comedian previously stood in a by-election in Brent East in 2003, finishing 14th out of 16 candidates and securing 37 votes.

This time he is hoping for a more positive result. He said: "I want to raise awareness. I'm using the election as a billboard to raise understanding of the asylum seekers' plight. I wonder why there isn't another Kindertransport with that kind of spirit to help people risking their lives all over the world. Jews are always working to help charities. Why isn't there a Jewish organisation taking in kids from Darfur, Zimbabwe, Congo and anywhere where there is tyranny?"

Mr Barschak chose Witney for three reasons: "If you're going to choose somewhere, it needs to be in the limelight. I also wanted to shove it in the face of the prospective next leader of the country. And Samantha Cameron herself is the descendant of an asylum seeker, namely King Charles II."

Mr Goldberg, the Labour candidate, runs the Stop Cameron website, charting the Opposition leader's policies and speeches. Despite promising to "take the fight to Cameron in his own backyard", the site has not been updated since February, though he said this was due to illness and lack of funding.

He said: "We're getting a really warm reception and there are pockets of Labour voters in Witney.

"My priority are the people in my South Tottenham ward. I was selected to run against Cameron before I became a councillor and didn't know then the elections would be on the same day."

Other Witney candidates include the Monster Raving Loony Party's Howling "Laud" Hope, and UKIP's Count Nikolai Dmitrievich Tolstoy-Miloslavsky.

Last updated: 3:18pm, April 29 2010