Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have Paul Nuttall’s blame thrust upon them. So said Shakespeare, or would’ve done if he were still alive to comment on the current state of power, duty and responsibility in today’s politics. For blame seems to be the Ukip leader and tweeded taxidermy Paul Nuttall’s modus operandi, in the place of actual policies.
Here are his top blame recipients:
His press officer, Lynda Roughley
Roughley is currently getting it in the neck for his false claims that he lost “close personal friends” at the Hillsborough disaster. She said she is “entirely responsible” for the “error”, which was written on Nuttall’s website, and offered to resign (she was allowed to stay).
A little odd that Roughley is taking the full blame for this, as the claim was made on more than one occasion – not just in one rogue statement – and other parts of his story about attending Hillsborough have come under scrutiny.
An “over-enthusiastic researcher”
Last year, Nuttall blamed a false declaration on his LinkedIn profile that he received a History PhD from Liverpool Hope University in 2004 on an “over-enthusiastic researcher”. Liverpool Hope didn’t get university status until 2005 and did not even award PhDs until 2009.
Another press officer
In November last year, Nuttall blamed another poor press officer for two false claims on his own website that he had been a professional footballer for his local team, the Tranmere Rovers. Under his byline, two posts on the site referred to his time as a “professional footballer”. When asked by the Mail if Nuttall had played for its first team, the club replied: “Definitely not.” This tale was blamed on: “A regrettable but innocent mistake by the press officer that wrote the items around the quotes Paul supplied.”
As part of Ukip’s 2015 general election manifesto launch, the then education spokesperson Nuttall posed in what looked like a library – which was poorly photoshopped to make it look larger than it was:
Nuttall’s reaction? “It’s not true. I just have two copies of every book! ;)”
His college girlfriend
As revealed by the New Statesman, Nuttall included two footnotes to books by Holocaust denier David Irving in a college essay about the causes of the Holocaust that he wrote aged 23. When called up on it by his teacher, he blamed his girlfriend who he claimed had taken the references from online.
For pretty much everything else.