Sir Ed Davey aims for poll bounce with General Election bungee jump

Sir Ed Davey took part in a bungee jump as he urged voters to take a similar “leap of faith” and back the Liberal Democrats on Thursday.

The Lib Dem leader sought a General Election poll bounce for his party by flinging himself off a crane platform while shouting: “Do something you’ve never done before – vote Liberal Democrat.”

One onlooker at the event in Eastbourne, East Sussex, could be heard saying: “Is there anything he won’t do?” – a nod to Sir Ed’s stunt-laden campaign, which has also included paddleboarding and rollercoasters.

Sir Ed was seen smiling after the jump as his harness was removed.

Speaking ahead of polling day, Sir Ed said: “To get the change our country needs this week and beat the Conservatives in scores of seats, I am asking people to take a leap of faith and vote for the Liberal Democrats.

“A lot of people are on the cusp of doing something they’ve never done before on Thursday and voting for the Liberal Democrats, so I decided to do something I’ve never done before, too.

Sir Ed Davey takes part in a bungee jump
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey took part in the daredevil feat during a visit to Eastbourne Borough Football Club in East Sussex (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to fix the NHS and care, end the sewage scandal and tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”

Sir Ed later took part in a Zumba class in Berkshire.

Dressed in T-shirt and shorts, the Lib Dem leader put on a display full of enthusiasm and questionable timing as he waved his arms, moved his feet and swung his hips to the music.

Speaking after the class, Sir Ed said: “I’m a bit out of breath still to be honest, but I think we should celebrate life and celebrate health and wellbeing, that’s what our campaign has been about, it’s been very positive even though we’re talking about serious subjects.

“Today I’m talking about a very serious subject, something close to my heart, about the need to improve bereavement support for families where the mother or father dies.

“I lost my father when I was four and my mum really relied on the widow’s pension she got for me and my two brothers and the Conservatives slashed support for bereaved families in 2017.

“We’re saying that was wrong and we need to rebuild it, and we’ve got a costed manifesto proposal to help families who have suffered bereavement and to help them live life to the full as well.”

Sir Ed Davey on a blue mattress as two staff members help him out of his harness following a bungee jump
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey after taking part in a bungee jump during a visit to Eastbourne Borough Football Club in East Sussex (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The Lib Dems said they would aim to double funding for bereavement support payments, benefits which are designed to help with the financial impact of losing a partner, by 2028/29.

Currently, a bereaved family can receive a lump sum of up to £3,500, followed by a monthly payment of up to £350 for 18 months.

In February 2023, the Government extended eligibility for bereavement support payment and widowed parent’s allowance to cohabiting parents with dependent children.