The BBC reported this week that a comedic British political figure known as “Bus Pass Elvis” and “Lord Biro” has passed away at the age of 78.
According to the outlet, Dave Bishop spent decades waging humorous political campaigns as head of such organizations as the Bus Pass Elvis Party, Militant Elvis Anti-HS2, and Lord Biro Versus the Scallywag Tories.
Bishop deployed a variety of slogans while running for a slew of both national and local elections, including “Ban Builders Bums,” “Bono for Pope,” and “Make Clifton Great Again.”
I’m very sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. Many people in Nottingham have fond memories of him and will miss him greatly. Rest in peace @buspasselvis 🤍
— Nadia Whittome MP (@NadiaWhittomeMP) December 5, 2022
Bishop did surprisingly well in 2014 election
Despite his humorous outlook, Bishop made headlines in 2014 when he managed to secure more votes than the Liberal Democratic candidate in a Clifton North, Nottingham local council by-election.
A Liberal Democratic spokesman told the BBC that his party was “all shook up” by the Elvis impersonator’s unexpected electoral performance.
Meanwhile, then Liberal Democratic leader Nick Clegg was quoted as joking, “It is a new one for us to be competing against the Bus Pass Elvis Party.”
For his part, Bishop told the BBC that he had mounted six prior campaigns in Nottingham and was “shocked” at having outperformed a major party candidate.
“I thought there was a chance I could beat the Lib Dems because they are not very popular in this area,” he said, adding, “I was hoping I would beat UKIP because it was the first time they had stood, but I didn’t.”
Bishop campaign on issues affecting senior citizens
When asked about the meaning behind his party’s name, Bishop explained that it reflected his love of Elvis Presley and concern over the needs of senior citizens.
“If Elvis was still alive he would be on his bus pass, and most of the original fans are pensioners now so I thought it was a good name,” Bishop said. “I always think I’m going to do well when I stand but I never do. But there is always a chance.”
Following the perennial candidate’s death, friend and election partner Ian Pickering told the BBC that Bishop “was a member of the awkward squad.”
“He said ‘somebody has got to have a go at them’,” Pickering recalled. “But he loved it. He told me he didn’t have holidays, instead he paid £500 to stand in an election.”
“He was very considered,” Pickering continued. “He was interviewed by BBC political reporter Chris Mason and he gave reasoned, clear answers. He was not ‘in your face’ and I think people appreciated that.”