Even from its burrow, your mole has heard that whatever the result of the EU referendum next month Ukip is planning to rebrand itself more as an anti-establishment party than a collective of Europe-obsessed golf club bores.
Which is why it was always strange that one of the party’s top candidates for the Welsh Assembly – duly elected last Thursday – was Neil Hamilton. Yes, that’s the same Neil Hamilton who in the mid-1990s as a Conservative MP was caught up in a cash-for-questions scandal involving asking parliamentary questions on behalf of Mohamed Al-Fayed. The same Neil Hamilton who 19 years ago was thrown out by the voters of Tatton, a hugely safe Tory seat, in favour of the independent candidate Martin Bell.
So, how have the seven new Ukip members of the Welsh Assembly dealt with the fact that a “liar and a cheat” is among their number? They made him leader, of course. Yes, despite Welsh Ukip already having in the form of Nathan Gill MEP a leader, appointed by Nigel Farage, Hamilton challenged him this afternoon to be the leader of the Ukip members of the Welsh Assembly. And won. The man who launched a £10m libel suit against the Guardian and then walked away. He won. He is the leader of the Ukip contingent in the Welsh Assembly. Neil Hamilton. Two decades after his career was ended. Neil Hamilton. Anti-establishment, eh?