Express & Star

Sir Ed Davey defends election stunts as he races down water slide in rubber ring

The Lib Dem leader donned swimming shorts and a T-shirt to ride down the Ultimate Slip n Slide

Last updated
Leader of Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey after he rode down the Ultimate Slip n Slide attraction near Frome, Somerset, while on the General Election campaign trail

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has defended the latest of his madcap stunts as he rode down a children’s water slide in a large rubber ring.

The politician donned swimming shorts and a T-shirt to ride down the Ultimate Slip n Slide attraction near Frome, Somerset.

After getting off the slide, Sir Ed said: “It was great fun, really good fun.”

Sir Ed Davey carries a yellow rubber ring
Sir Ed Davey made his way down the slide on a large yellow rubber ring (Rod Minchin/PA)

On Wednesday he was photographed riding a bike during a visit to Wales and on Tuesday repeatedly fell from a paddleboard on Lake Windermere in Cumbria.

Speaking afterwards, Sir Ed said he enjoyed doing the stunts.

“I think my belief is that politicians need to take the concerns and interests of voters seriously but I’m not sure they need to take themselves seriously all the time and I’m quite happy to have some fun,” he said.

Sir Ed was in the constituency of Frome and East Somerset to support the campaign of Liberal Democrat candidate Anna Sabine and highlight his party’s pledge to improve mental health support for young people.

The new seat has been created from the parts of the former Somerton & Frome constituency, which was won by Lib Dem Sarah Dyke in a by-election last year.

“However, today we’re showing the serious side of our policy making,” he said.

“We’ve got hundreds of thousands of children, young people waiting for treatment for mental health. It’s actually appalling.

Sir Ed Davey on a yellow water slide
Sir Ed defended his campaigning style (Rod Minchin/PA)

“If you talk to their parents, talk about teachers, they’re worried not just about the health now but what it’s going to do to their education in the future, their future life chances, their future opportunities and they want a party to say how are we going to fix that?

“So we’ve come up talking to experts with this set of ideas to ensure that every school will have a qualified mental health professional to work with the staff so we can have that early intervention and make sure we get the treatment they deserve when they need it.

“We think that will turn things around and we’ve shown how we’re going to pay for it.”

Sir Ed Davey during a rally in Frome with candidate Anna Sabine (Rod Minchin/PA)

Sir Ed said the plan would be funded through an increase to the Digital Services Tax – currently 2% on search engine, social media and online market place companies’ revenues.Speaking to the media at Frome Football Club, the Lib Dem leader ruled out raising income tax, national insurance or VAT to pay for his party’s plans.

“The Conservatives have raised taxes so much to record levels at a time where people are struggling with the cost of living, high energy bills, mortgages and food prices it would be completely wrong to increase taxes anymore,” Sir Ed said.

“I’m just surprised the Conservatives are going into this election with a pledge for high taxes.

“They are continuing to freezing tax allowance for the next few years. That’s not what voters want.

“But we do need to pay for our policies and that’s why we’ve identified a number of sectors, commercial and industrial sectors, who can afford to pay a bit more in tax.

“Some of our policies are paid for by reversing the big banks tax cuts that the Conservatives gave. They cut the taxes on big banks by nearly £4 billion pounds a year since 2015.

“And we think that should be reversed because big banks are doing terribly well.

“We were the first party to argue for a windfall tax in the oil and gas energy giants.

“We will need to find more money for our health proposals and we are going to publish manifesto soon and you’ll see all the workings.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.