Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey Falls Off Paddleboard 'On Purpose'

<span class="copyright">Christopher Furlong via Getty Images</span>
Christopher Furlong via Getty Images

Ed Davey deliberately threw himself off a paddleboard on Tuesday, as the Lib Dem leader battled for attention in the first full week of the election campaign.

The Lib Dems have a long history of staging eye-catching stunts to avoid their message being drowned out by the Tories and Labour.

During a campaign stop at Lake Windermere in the Lake District, Davey took a paddleboard into the water then fell off it repeatedly.

Asked by the BBC is he had jumped in “on purpose”, Davey confessed: “Once I did. The rest I just kept falling in. But it’s fun.”

He said the “serious message” the party was trying to highlight was how sewage was damaging the UK’s beaches, rivers and lakes.

<span class="copyright">PAUL ELLIS via Getty Images</span>
PAUL ELLIS via Getty Images

The Lib Dems were almost wiped out at the 2015 election following the coalition government and the have struggled to make gains since.

But the party scored a series of impressive by-election victories in the last parliament.

Davey has now tried to position the party as solidly anti-Tory. He said in many parts of the country it was a Lib Dem vote that was the “powerful vote to defeat the Conservatives”.