A Conservative councillor was almost barred from his own party's conference for looking like the leader of the British National Party.
When police were put on alert that Nick Griffin might gatecrash the inner sanctum of the conference in Manchester, they pulled aside Cotswold and county councillor Lynden Stowe to make sure he wasn't Mr Griffin. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) checked out Councillor Stowe's credentials after they received a tip-off Mr Griffin might try and get in to an area for accredited visitors only.
"Someone thought I might have been Nick Griffin," said Councillor Stowe, who is the leader of Cotswold District Council (Campden Vale) and represents the North Cotswold division on Gloucestershire County Council. He is most definitely a true blue Conservative but it seemed not all at the conference were familiar with the Mickleton resident.
"Police had a look at me and my badge, and that was it," he told The Citizen. "I think it got spun out a bit, the story. You get photo ID and they had a look at it. Some police lady came up and said "Can you come around the back?" and she checked my ID. They said it was fine - they did not even mention it (a suspicion he was Nick Griffin). There was nothing I could do about it."
He said he has been mistaken for the far right party's leader before.
"I try to cut my hair a bit shorter these days," he said. "Nobody ever said at the time but I do get the odd comparison. It's only facially - he is quite a bit porkier than I am."
A GMP spokesman said: "During the conference we had some sort of information passed through to us that someone had spotted the said person. It turned out not to be him. Clearly that would have been an issue. He (Nick Griffin) was not on the accredited list. When it was confirmed it was not him, he went about his business. It was something we looked at because someone believed he may be in the building."
John Walker, BNP press officer, said Mr Griffin had no plans to visit the conference, held in October last year.
"It just goes to show how recognisable Nick Griffin is nowadays," said Mr Walker. "He is a recognisable face - quite a famous person who people recognise. Perhaps there is a line in Nick Griffin doubles."
This is Gloucestershire