WHEN Ray Hall decided to stand in the Eastleigh by-election, he had no idea it would tear his family apart.

The 73-year-old candidate for the Beer, Baccy and Crumpet Party was prompted to put forward his name because he was fed up with the performance of the coalition Government.

But the move has seen the former Conservative Party member of 30 years’ private life descend into turmoil.

Ray claims his sons – Jerry, Richard and Robin – have “disowned”

him for standing against Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings.

In return he has threatened to cut off their £250,000 inheritance.

One of his three sons, Jerry, 50, who is the chairman of the Eastleigh Conservative Association, is no longer speaking to him.

Meanwhile Ray’s wife of 40 years, Carole, 68, has moved away to stay with friends in Weston super Mare, Somerset, since Ray decided to stand.

Mr Hall said: “My wife is really upset by the family turmoil. She just gets really emotional about this. I am not sure where it has left my marriage.”

Speaking about his sons, he said: “I am very disappointed with the way they have reacted. It is very short-sighted of them.

“I thought that politics would be a bit like rugby, where you all shake hands afterwards, but I did not realise the acrimony there would be.

“I am not worried about the antagonism from them, it does not concern me.

“I’m from a tough family. My father was a pilot in the Battle of Britain and I will not let them get to me. They are stupid for adopting this attitude towards me.”

Ray, who ironically lives next door to a Conservative Club in Netley Firs Road, Hedge End, is dismissive of the Tory candidate Maria Hutchings.

“She is a sheep, she has been chosen by the Tory Party because they want more women in the party,” he told the Daily Echo.

One of the policies Mr Hall aims to fight for should he be elected is to cut the excise duty on draught beer to zero to help pubs and restaurants compete with supermarkets.

He also wants to introduce designated indoor smoking areas in pubs.

He also aims to tackle student loan debt and wants to bring back capital punishment.

When contacted by the Daily Echo, two of Ray’s sons had contrasting opinions on the family row.

Jerry said: “It is a sad situation and a personal family thing. You can’t control what your father does. The focus for me is working with the best candidate, Maria Hutchings.

“I’m fine not having the inheritance.

My dad is exercising his democratic right to stand and he can do whatever he wants to do.”

However Richard, 48, tried to play down the split.

He said: “It’s all good fun, and we are very proud of Ray and there is not very much turmoil at all."