A would-be politician caught speeding on the M3 with a stocking over his face, a line of coke on the dashboard, and an "inexperienced but willing to learn" prostitute in the passenger seat has claimed he was making a "supreme satirical statement" on the kind of behaviour he intends to stamp out - "just as soon as he gets to Eastleigh".
Writer and broadcaster John O'Farrell was stopped by police after they spotted him driving erratically just south of Winchester on Wednesday night. Wires worn by the arresting officers picked up O'Farrell hissing "tell them you were driving and I'll give you an extra two thou" in a mixture of French and German. The passenger, thought to be Romanian national Katushka Volumina , then said "please Mr Cop, cheeky me drive".
"Yes, I realise now I went too far, " said O'Farrell, "but I can assure my future constituents that the behaviour demonstrated that night was exactly what I will not do, should they elect me to serve them.
Sources close to O'Farrell suspect he was just trying to "get it out of his system". 'Think of it as a pre-election stag night' said one. 'After the roasting he got I can see how he might get used to that kind of thing, but the lash of the tabloid press really hurt him so he won't do it again - S&M is not really his scene'.
O'Farrell is adamant that the experienced has made him "humbler, yet somehow stronger". 'What's the worst that can happen to me now?' he said. 'What's that you say? Coalition talks with the Lib Dems? Oh God - I can't take that much humiliation'.