3 April 2000
Pig Winnie cheques out of mayor race

by FWi staff

OFFICIALDOM has thwarted Winnie the pigs dream of following in the footsteps of Dick Whittington and becoming mayor of London.

Winnie, star of the pig producers round-the-clock vigil at Parliament Square, had been reported to be standing for the top job in London politics.

The celebrity sow arrived in a converted horsebox drawn by a Reliant Robin, nicknamed the “plastic pig”, to submit her nomination on Monday (3 April).

She presented her nomination papers to officials at the returning officers office before the noon deadline and unveiled a 10-oink plan to the awaiting media.

Her oinks included a new crackdown on misleading labelling and a drive to ensure that local authorities source all pork and bacon from British farms.

But officials were suspicious of a cheque for her 10,000 registration fee. It seems Winnies bank — Piggybank PLC — is not widely recognised.

However, Winnie, who has her own website and has received celebrity guests such as socialite and model Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, appeared undeterred.

She will continue making appearances at the election hustings to keep the plight of pig producers in the public eye, said her owners.

Hugh Crabtree, campaign co-ordinator for the National Pig Association, said Winnies growing fame in the capital was helping farmers publicise their cause.

“The election of London mayor is an excellent platform to bring home to people the serious message that pig farmers are in a very difficult situation.”

Last week protestors in the vigil welcomed the Prime Ministers first-year package of 26 million for a scheme to help restructure the pig industry.

The round-the-clock vigil, now in its third month, will continue, as protestors also want compensation for costs imposed on their sector after the BSE crisis.