Lib Dems head to Thorpe Park to ‘have fun’ following manifesto launch

As the Liberal Democrats descended on a theme park as part of their campaign trail, Sir Ed Davey said that “politics can be a rollercoaster ride”.

Following the launch of the party’s election manifesto, the leader took a ride on the teacups and the log flume at Thorpe Park.

Sir Ed said he wanted to show voters he was a politician who can have fun, as well as be serious about policy.

Sir Ed Davey on a rollercoaster
Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey during a visit to Thorpe Park (Lucy North/PA)

Speaking from the theme park in Chertsey, Surrey, he said: “We’ve had our serious launch of our manifesto this morning with our fair deal proposals particularly with health and social care, the heart of it, with our plan to rescue the NHS.

“We’ve done the serious bit, and we thought we’d have some fun as well.

“Politics can be a rollercoaster ride, and we are saying come on with us, come and join the ride.”

Asked if he was concerned about people taking him seriously, he told the PA news agency: “I think people are going to take our ideas seriously.

“I believe that the job of politicians is to take voters concerns really seriously and show how you’re addressing them and we’ve done that, but I don’t think people want politicians to take themselves too seriously.

Sir Ed Davey, with Sarah Olney and Munira Wilson
Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey, with Sarah Olney and Munira Wilson at Thorpe Park (Lucy North/PA)

“You want to show that you’re a normal sort of person.

“I’ve been talking about my background today and a bit recently, about my life experiences as a carer, they’re pretty serious.

“But equally, you know you can have fun, even when my mum was dying she and I would have laughs together, and we had fun.”

At the party’s manifesto launch on Monday morning, Sir Ed said his role as a carer started early after his mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine years old.

Sir Ed gave reporters a big thumbs-up as he boarded Rush, a ride which swings up 75 feet high at speeds of up to 50 miles an hour.

This was followed by Colossus, the world’s first 10 loops rollercoaster which opened in 2002.

He was joined by Sarah Olney, the former MP and candidate for Richmond Park, and former MP and candidate for Twickenham, Munira Wilson who opted out of the splash prone Tidal Wave ride.