Lib Dem leader Ed Davey goes down waterslide in Somerset on General Election campaign


Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey went down a waterslide in Somerset today while on the general election campaign trail.

Mr Davey joined Frome and East Somerset Lib Dem hopeful Anna Sabine in a large rubber ring for a slide down the 95m Ultimate Slip n Slide waterslide in Beckington, just outside Frome. He had three goes down the slide in the rubber ring before opting for a yellow bodyboard for a final run.

The fourth largest party is known for its eye catching campaign stunts, but this week has been something else. The party leader made headlines after falling off a paddleboard into Windermere in the Lake District on Tuesday, and rode a bicycle down a steep hill in Knighton in Wales on Wednesday.

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Mr Davey said: “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.”

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey and Frome and East Somerset candidate Anna Sabine at Ultimate Slip n Slide near Frome -Credit:John Wimperis
Lib Dem leader Ed Davey and Frome and East Somerset candidate Anna Sabine at Ultimate Slip n Slide near Frome -Credit:John Wimperis

But he added there was a “serious side” behind the fun. He said: “We have got hundreds and thousands of children and young people waiting for treatment for their mental health and it is actually appalling and if you talk to their parents/talk to their parents, they are worried not just about their health now but what its 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 every school is going to have a qualified mental health professional to work with the staff so we can gather early intervention and make sure these young people get the treatment to deserve when they need it.”

Ed Davey greets supporters outside Badger Hill in Frome after the waterslide stunt -Credit:John Wimperis
Ed Davey greets supporters outside Badger Hill in Frome after the waterslide stunt -Credit:John Wimperis

He said it would be paid for with a higher “digital service tax” on companies such as Amazon, Google, and big social media companies. Mr Davey said: “They are doing very well thank you very much. We are asking them to pay a higher digital services tax so we can make this investment in the mental health of our young people.”

Also standing for Frome and East Somerset is Martin Dimery (Green), Gavin Heathcote (Independent), Robin Moss (Labour), David Swain (Reform UK), and Lucy Trimnell (Conservative).

Ultimate Slip N Slide — located on Eastcote Farm just off the A36/A361 roundabout on Warminster Road into Beckington — first opened last summer and is open this summer until September 8. It is open 10am-5pm every day through the kids holidays and costs £12 for an hour session on the waterslide.