James Cleverly eyes up bespoke sports car and visits pub on Tory campaign trail

James Cleverly suggested he was interested in buying a bespoke sportscar as he visited a manufacturer in Nottinghamshire.

“Mrs Cleverly doesn’t need to know”, the Home Secretary joked when he asked Richard Hall, the managing director of Great British Sports Cars, how much one of the company’s cars would cost.

The Nottinghamshire-based sports car company is a small producer of bespoke vehicles and also sells its cars in kits for hobbyists to build themselves.

The visit alongside Sir Mark Spencer, the farming minister and Conservative candidate for the Sherwood constituency, was initially delayed after a Greenpeace protester mounted the roof of the Tory campaign battle bus.

Amy Rugg-Easey held up a banner reading “clean power not Paddypower” while standing on the roof of the coach, in a reference to the betting scandal engulfing the Conservative Party’s campaign.

After the brief delay, Mr Cleverly toured the company’s workshop, while his colleague Sir Mark hailed its work as part of a “great British engineering tradition”.

Sir Mark later lamented that he did not get to drink as much of his cup of tea as he would have liked, when Tory aides asked him to move onto the next part of the visit.

Home Secretary James Cleverly and Mark Spencer drink a pint of ale during a visit to The Hutt in Nottingham
Home Secretary James Cleverly and Mark Spencer during a visit to The Hutt in Nottingham (Joe Giddens/PA)

“That was only three sips of tea,” he said before Mr Cleverly and Mr Hall went to sit for photos in one of the company’s sportscars outside the workshop.

Earlier, during the visit, staff members were on their best behaviour ahead of meeting the two ministers, with one telling another: “Remember not to swear.”

In the second campaign visit of Wednesday, James Cleverly and Sir Mark had a pint at a Nottinghamshire pub.

The Home Secretary and farming minister each had a pint of Nottingham-based brewery Castle Rock’s Harvest Pale Ale at the Hutt.

Mr Cleverly described the beer as “citrusy” as he took his first sip.

He then noticed a nearby media camera filming him, looked straight down the lens, smiled and said “cheers” as he raised his glass.