A Conservative Party official who claimed to be an earl and a member of MI5 has been exposed as a Walter Mitty-like fantasist.
Robert Ardis (28) has now resigned from his post as deputy chairman of Falkirk Conservative and Unionist Association.
Actually living with his auntie in a Falkirk high rise flat, Mr Ardis spun tales he was a viscount and an Army colonel who had served in Africa, Belize, Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya. His deception came to light when he turned up at a Conservative Party event wearing campaign medals and was evasive when quizzed about them.
Depute Provost of Falkirk John Patrick said: “The revelations in the press came as a complete shock to us. He did tell us he had a military background, but never said anything outlandish.”
Councillor Malcolm Nicol said he had met Mr Ardis a few times and found him a bit of an “odd character”, but had no reason to doubt him.
He said: “He told me he had been in the Army but he never made any outlandish claims.”
Ardis contested Falkirk North in last year’s council elections, netting only 346 votes.