IAN HART: Have bathing habits left MP in hot water?
As I'm sure there is with all of us, there's a touch of '˜Marmite' about Tim Loughton '“ either you love him or you don't.
I must say, in the 20 years since I first met him – he knocked on my door during the 1997 General Election campaign – allowing for one or two minor disagreements, I’ve always thought of him as a genuine sort of bloke.
As my own path in life has developed, my rule of thumb with most people is if I walked into a pub, would I have drink, either alcoholic or soft, with them?
With Tim, possibly depending on the establishment in question, I certainly would.
Last week Tim found himself back in the national news. Was it his views on Brexit or another equally important matter?
No. It concerned water bills and the revelation that he spends an hour in the bath every day.
Initially, and for anyone who knows me well this will be hard to believe, words failed me. Reading it, I wondered if he’d employed the Chuckle Brothers to do his PR.
In an age where the nation is beset by serious terror concerns, worries over how Brexit will affect the long-term future of the country and, in his own constituency, some people have reached a point where they must depend on food banks to feed their families, Tim wants to talk about his bathing habits.
Frankly, I don’t care how long Tim stays in the bath each day. If it helps his mental wellbeing, all well and good. But do I really want to read about it? And as for his expenses, if they are in line with the guidelines then, again, fair enough.
The colour of his political rosette dictates that’s not everyone’s going to like him, that’s life, but I’m not sure this has painted him in the best of lights. Contrary to popular belief there is such a thing as bad publicity.
Whether or not it will have a bearing at the next election remains to be seen.