Please don't laugh at my scooter, pleads Tory MP
When I heard Conservative MP Glyn Davies had bought himself a scooter, I assumed he had acquired a mod-style Lambretta with which to recreate Quadrophenia on the streets of Welshpool.
I was wrong. The Montgomeryshire MP's newly-acquired wheels are the self-powered type favoured by primary schoolchildren. While his colleagues may covet a ministerial limo, he announced his purchase in a Facebook post that suggests he knew what he was letting himself in for:
"Fear I could be in for some mockery. Have just bought myself a scooter. It's not a joke, or a response to my predecessor's obsession with his Segways or Boris and his bikes. It's a practical response to a little problem.
"For four years I've had a back problem which means by the end of a long day can't walk far. So I need a taxi home. This costs the taxpayer. Reckon I could manage ok with a scooter. Mockery of my so-called friends will be small price to pay if saving lots of taxpayers money."
That may be true. MPs can claim expenses for cycle journeys but not for travel by scooter.
Mockery? Mr Davies, 70, will not have been disappointed or surprised by the reaction. Yesterday, he posted: "People must stop laughing at my new scooter. Thought I'd try it out at Westminster today. Fellow MPs much amused when I whizzed past them in Westminster Hall. Will try it over Westminster Bridge tonight. Little Ffion [granddaughter] wants one the same. Never had a scooter when I was a child so haven't mastered the braking system yet, which involves a foot on the back wheel. Reckon I'm going to start a trend."
Today, he posted: "Thought I should offer up a first day update on the scooter. Worked very well - with a couple of teething problems. Hadn't quite realised how downhill the south side of Westminster Bridge was and have not yet mastered the braking system, which involves pressing free foot on back wheel. The bus shelter was undamaged though. And the handlebar is just right height for the alarm button in the lift. Caused bit of a consternation to nearby police officer. So far it's a great success."
What could possibly go wrong?