Lib Dems celebrate by-election by unveiling door aimed at Boris to resign
If there is one thing the Liberal Democrats love, it is a silly PR stunt.
We saw it when the party won the Chesham and Amersham by-election in June last year, and marked the occasion by sending leader Ed Davey out to knock down a blue wall.
We ate it up when, some six months later they claimed they had "burst Boris's bubble" by winning the North Shropshire by-election and... bursting a balloon marked "Boris's bubble".
So when the party won the Tiverton and Honiton by-election last night, taking the long-held Tory seat with a swing of almost 30 per cent, we were like children trying to sleep on Christmas Eve, waiting for the party to roll out the cringe once more.
We didn't have to wait too long and this morning Davey walked out to speak to press, greet cheering party supporters and bring his best the Thick of It energy.
"In Chesham and Amersham I had an orange mallet and a blue wall," he said, standing next to a mysterious structure cloaked in a mustard cloth. "In North Shropshire we had a pin to burst Boris's bubble," he continued, as anticipation reached a crescendo.
"But here in Tiverton and Honiton we've got something different for you, because this is what the people of Tiverton and Honiton have said."
It was at this crucial point that he reached for the cloth and whipped it down, revealing a blue door emblazoned with the words: "It's time to show Boris the door" on it.
Supporters were beside themselves, clapping and cheering, and Davies gave cameras the wry grin of a Dad who has just whipped out his best pun as he opened and closed the door and peeked his head through it with glee.
\u201cBit of direction but the photographers have got the shot they wanted:\u201d
Davey went on to deliver a speech you would expect from a party leader on an occasion like this. "Good morning," he said. "It's great to be in the Liberal Democrat seat of Tiverton and Honiton". He then congratulated Richard Foord, who won the seat with more than 22,000 votes after the by-election was called due to incumbent Tory MP Neil Parish admitting to watching porn in parliament, as you don't.
And things weren't great for the Tories in Wakefield either, where there was a by-election because of the resignation of ex-Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan, who was jailed in May for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.
Labour's Simon Lightwood won the seat by 4925 votes, turning it red again after it was lost to the Tories in 2019 for the first time since the 1930s.
We are yet to see Labour party leader Keir Starmer trundle out with a heavy-handed metaphor to show what the results mean for him and you know what? Maybe that's the 'je nais se quois' he is missing, the key to unlocking his charisma.
But probably not.
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