Liberal Democrat candidate Maajid Nawaz revealed he was considering his future in politics after the general election before he was caught up in a hypocrisy row.
The co-founder of counter-extremism group Quilliam spoke to IBTimes UK on 10 April, hours before CCTV footage was published reportedly showing the self-described feminist having a private lap dance in a London strip club in 2014.
Abdul Malik, the club's owner, told the Daily Mail he released the video to the paper to expose Nawaz as a "hypocrite" and the club's manager, Jay Shah, alleged the prominent British Muslim had attempted to touch the female performer.
But a spokesman for Nawaz denied to the paper that he touched the dancer "inappropriately" and said the 37-year-old's reputation for advocating women's rights was "in the context of Islamic extremism".
He said: "The evening you refer to was our client's stag night before his marriage. His best man took him to the gentleman's club with the full knowledge of our client's then future wife [now his wife]."
Hizb ut-Tahrir ties and Quilliam set up
Nawaz has become a well-known face on current affairs TV after setting up Quilliam in 2008. The Essex-born commentator joined Islamist revolutionary group Hizb ut-Tahrir at just 16.
In 2001, he travelled to Egypt and was later arrested in 2002 and imprisoned until 2006 because of his membership of the organisation. His 2012 book, Radical, recounts how he turned his back on the group's ideology and set up Qulliam.
The counter-extremist entered the party political world in 2013 when he was selected to stand as a parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Hampstead and Kilburn, the most marginal seat in England.
Glenda Jackson, the soon-to-retire Labour firebrand and former actress, won the constituency in 2010, with just 42 more votes than Tory candidate Chris Philp. The Liberal Democrats secured a strong third place at that election in the seat, with 31% of the vote.
But a poll from Lord Ashcroft in August 2014 showed the party was on 13% in the constituency, with the Tories on 30% and Labour ahead on 47%.
The data showed Nawaz is set to lose. So will he stay in party politics after May's vote, possibly seeking to become an MEP or local councillor?
The Lib Dem candidate told IBTimes UK he was "considering everything" but was not making his mind up because he was "fighting to win" the North London seat.
No 'Weetabix' responses on the cards
"If in the worst case scenario I don't win, there's a lot to do with Quilliam still and there are various political avenues open to me, " he said. "I'm not going to give you a two Weetabix, three Weetabix commitment, as the prime minister did. But I will say to you that I'm open to the options and let's see what happens."
When pressed on what he would deliberate on after the election, he outlined his positives and negatives of running as a parliamentary candidate.
"The positive is I'm delighted at the way the Liberal Democrats as a party have supported me and the way in which the work I'm doing, through the Liberal Democrats, has abled to broaden some of the work I work on," he explained.
"On the downside, maybe what would put me off is it is a cut-throat game. You have to constantly watch what you are saying, what you are doing, and I'm quite a free soul."
Nawaz added: "I joined a radical group at the age of 16 because I'm a passionate man; the good news is that I turned myself around since then. But my character is still quite free and passionate. I'm just worried that maybe, you know, I should continue with what I've been happy with up until now."
For the full interview with Nawaz, covering diversity in the Liberal Democrats, mental health care and the so-called "Mansion Tax", watch the video above.