Screaming Lord Sutch
Few political party leaders have had funerals marked by the presence of leopardskin armbands, a cavalcade of motorbikes and rock and roll. But then David Edward Sutch was no ordinary politician. Screaming Lord Sutch, who was the longest-serving party leader as head of the Monster Raving Loonies, was found hanged at his home on 16 June 1999 after apparently committing suicide. After school in South Harrow, David Edward Sutch worked as a plumber until turning to rock ‘n’ roll where he recorded such enchanting ditties as Jack The Ripper and Dracula’s Daughter. He is reckoned to be the first long-haired pop star. The nickname "Lord" came from his first stage headgear, a fur-lined crash helmet topped with bobbles to resemble a coronet; in 1968 he adopted the name Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow by deed poll. (Once, he said, he had tried to change his name to Mrs Thatcher, but was told it would be too confusing when he got to the Commons.) He became a fixture of British political life, fighting more than 40 elections in his trademark top hat and gold lame suit, memorably overtaking Lord Owen’s SDP in the 1990 Bootle by-election. His most incisive political moment was probably when he asked, "Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?"