Dom Joly: I'm going to spend more time with my family, hem hem

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The Independent Online

It is with sadness that I have to announce to you, my loyal readers, that I shall not be standing again as an MP at the next election. I know this will come as a shock to a lot of you. Some of you might not even know that I have been an MP for the past 15 years.

If I'm honest, I haven't spent as much time serving my constituents as I would have liked to. Unfortunately, my television commitments have kept me very busy. I have, however, been able to combine some of my media commitments with the role of MP. Just last year I took my whole family on a fact-finding trip to St Lucia for three weeks.

It was a most interesting and rewarding time for us all. We discovered that the island is in the Caribbean, is very hot and that you can sometimes see Amy Winehouse stumbling about in a drunken state.

I reported all of my findings back to the House in a series of postcards that I paid for myself. Admittedly, you paid for the hotel and flights, but I think that, should you ever get to read said postcards, you would agree that we had a wonderful time.

Some of you will have read the skewed press coverage about me in the past month or so, and I just want to take time to clear this up. I was not wearing a stocking on my head. It was one half of a pair of tights. I had just been in a very important lunch meeting with my secretary and the whole thing dragged on a lot longer than I thought it might. My secretary was celebrating her 17th birthday and we might have had a couple of bottles of champagne to celebrate the event. Who among us would not do the same?

For personal reasons, I am currently following a course of anti-depressants and these must have reacted with the tiny amount of champagne that I consumed. I have very little recollection of events but I am told that I entered the Westminster Barclay's bank shouting, "Everybody on the floor now or I'll blow your heads off", while brandishing a sawn-off shotgun.

I have no memory of this, nor do I remember coshing a Chinese gentleman who was an innocent customer in the bank. The police claim that I repeatedly beat the man about the head while shouting, "I'm here for a take-away", but again my memory is not entirely clear on these matters.

The important thing is that when the police did apprehend me I immediately admitted that I must have made a serious error of judgement. I handed the two bags of cash back and apologised to everyone, including the other customer, for what was clearly a simple administrative error.

I have, without delay, asked the Speaker of the House to organise an inquiry into this whole matter, and this will take place sometime soon after I step down. There's probably no real need for it, but I thought it best that Parliament be seen to be acting in a proper manner.

I know that some of you might be worried about what I shall do in the future? Fear not. For ages I have harboured a secret ambition to turn one of my arboretums into a Himalayan garden. Quite by chance, our little corner of the Cotswolds has a microclimate exactly comparable to Kathmandu – so yah boo sucks to those climate-change scaremongers. I intend to grow my own range of tea and sell it to the Houses of Parliament. I will therefore not let any accusations of my wasting my "resettlement fee" stand.

I would like to end by extending my full support to whoever happens to be in charge of the country on the day that you read this – he/she/it is really brilliant.

Dom Joly's Made in Britain starts on Blighty channel tomorrow at 8pm