Ex-porn king forms party to run on a 'legalise cannabis' ticket
"Young adults I've spoken to have said they'd rather vote for a former porn king than the bunch we have running the country at the moment"
A former stripogram boss is to take on senior political figures like Sinn Fein's Caral Ni Cuilin and the DUP's Nelson McCausland in the Assembly election for Stormont next month.
Geoff Dowey (60), who ran a stable of RUC-uniformed strippers, is a candidate in the hotly-contested North Belfast constituency.
The Newtownabbey man has formed his own political party, Northern Ireland First, with a manifesto calling for the liberalisation of drugs and prostitution laws in Northern Ireland.
The manifesto calls for cannabis to be legalised and says that our prostitution laws target men - making them discriminatory.
Standing as a candidate in the Stormont election marks a new departure for Mr Dowey, who previously ran stripogram agency Angel Promotions and the Erotic Ireland website,
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, Mr Dowey said his campaign was only just beginning.
"I'm looking forward to having a few frank discussions with DUP candidates about their stance on gay marriages," he said
The former porn king said he had entered political life because he was "fed up" with political culture in the province.
"I am doing this because I am - like a lot of people - totally fed up with the conflict politics of Northern Ireland," he said.
"It's like kids falling out in a schoolyard.
"While we're fighting among ourselves we're missing he big picture."
And his racy past is no barrier to winning the support of voters, he claimed.
"Young adults I've spoken to have said they'd rather vote for a former porn king than the bunch we have running the country at the moment," he said.
Realistically, he accepts that his risqué past will lose him votes among sections of the electorate.
But, in other quarters, he reckons his chequered history will do him no harm at the polls.
"People realise this was a business run by a chap who went up against the general feeling in Northern Ireland with the RUC strippers and the punishment beating strippers - and brought a little bit of humour to life," he argued.
Asked whether his porn career was now behind him, Mr Dowey said: "Who knows what's round the corner?
"I haven't ruled out anything. The adult industry has always been there. It's a legitimate business.
"When we accepted the European Bill of Rights it gave everyone the right to watch porn on TV. So you can blame the Europeans for me, I'm afraid."
But, with only five members in his new party, Mr Dowey has quite a mountain to climb .