British comedian Al Murray - aka the Pub Landlord - was planning to parachute into politics on 13 March by jumping from 12,000ft to launch his election campaign.

But the stunt was scrapped before it got started when Murray stepped on the scales and tipped over the 92kg weight limit.

"It seems I am too heavy to jump. It's a double whammy. Not only am I another tragic victim of this country's obesity epidemic but also my life is being held back by health and safety gone mad," said the comedian, who joked that he was now a proven "political heavyweight".

Murray is standing for his Free United Kingdom Party in the same Kent constituency that UK independence Party leader Nigel Farage is hoping to win.

His day did not get any better when he visited the New Inn Pub in Sandwich. A speech to voters started with jokes: "We offer as a policy, free dogs. We're going to pay for that with a cat tax."

Certainly Ukip leader Nigel Farage, out on the campaign trail, was not taking his rival too seriously.He said: "Well some have said that he's a more serious candidate than the other parties have put up, I'm not saying I would say that. I mean look you know, he's having a bit of fun. He's gonna get some publicity for his tour on the back of what he's doing. I don't honestly think he'll get many votes."