Neil Hamilton returns to politics – 19 years after ‘cash for questions’ scandal
So much for that backlash against the corrupt political establishment.
Former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton was among the winners for Ukip as the party won its first ever seats in the Welsh Assembly.
With the count still ongoing on Friday morning, there were seven new UKIP assembly members – the first Welsh seats ever claimed by the eurosceptic party.
Nigel Farage said his party was 'really biting hard' into Labour's traditional vote as the results rolled in, while Hamilton hailed his return to frontline politics as a "surprising turn of events".
Hamilton was elected for Mid and West Hamilton – 19 years after he entered the Commons as a Tory MP in 1983 and served as a minister under John Major.
In 1994 The Guardian published allegations that he had accepted envelopes of cash from Harrods boss Mohamed al-Fayed in exchange for parliamentary questions.
Hamilton sued the paper for libel, but dropped the case at the eleventh hour. The affair led to The Guardian branding him “a liar and a cheat” on its front page. It also him being unseated in the Cheshire constituency of Tatton by anti-sleaze candidate Martin Bell in 1997.
As his result was announced, Hamilton declared: "This has been quite a surprising turn of events for me. I hadn’t anticipated at the age of 67 that I would once again be elected to public office, particularly after I had been liberated from it so spectacularly in 1997 by the electorate."
Also winning a seat on the Welsh assembly was ex-Tory MP, Mark Reckless.