UK Politics

Mr Mozzarella's anti-cooking by-election campaign gets £72,000

Mr Mozzarella, independent candidate
Image caption Mr Mozzarella argued that too many people were cooking for themselves

An "anti-cookery" political party represented by an "Italian takeaway chef" called Mr Mozzarella has received more than £72,000 in donations.

The Don't Cook Party, which took part in the recent Corby by-election, was given all the money by an online food ordering company.

The donation took place in the last three months of 2012.

Gifts to the Tories and Lib Dems fell for the year as a whole, but Labour's rose, the Electoral Commission said.

Corby, which was contested after Tory MP Louise Mensch resigned, was taken by Labour in November's by-election.

'Slavin' away'

Mr Mozzarella, who set up a Twitter page, netted just 73 votes, despite the donation of £72,712.26 from Just Eat - almost £1,000 per vote so far.

The campaign focused on a dislike of celebrity chefs who, it was claimed, are re-awakening too much interest in cooking and therefore damaging takeaway businesses.

Prior to the election, Mr Mozzarella put out a broadcast, saying: "Me and my fellow takeaway chefs of Great Britain is angry. We is slavin' away in hot kitchens up and down the country ready to deliver your dinner, and yet many many people are trying to cook for themselves.

"Why you want to waste your time cooking these '15-minute meals' which actually take two hours, and tastes no good, when you could be sitting down, 'avin' a chat, or watching the telly?"

A spokesman for Just Eat said they donated to the Don't Cook Party "as we stand for the same things - the right to have a night off from cooking. We are thrilled that the Don't Cook Party, and Mr Mozzarella, stepped into the political debate".

During the last quarter of 2012 the Conservatives received the most donations, with £3,309,109. Labour was given £2,592,885 and the Liberal Democrats £570,959.

This brought the Tories' total to £13.80m for the year - down from £14.23m in 2011.

Labour increased its amount from £11.96m to £12.04m.

The Lib Dems experienced the biggest decline, from £4.16m to £2.48m.

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