Beekeeping, tattoos and vitamin D: politicians have fun in the sun – The Guardian

Mancunians have shown their solidarity after the terror attack by getting tattoos of a worker bee – a symbol of the city since the Victorian era. One of them is Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds, who first became MP for Stalybridge and Hyde in 2010. He posted a picture of his new wrist tattoo on Facebook along with a link to a JustGiving page which aims to raise £50,000 for the attack’s victims. The clean-living father of four is not an obvious rebel and his post concluded: “Now I’m just waiting for the phone call from me mam. You’re never too old to have your mum tell you off …” Only 13 minutes later, his mum Judith popped up on Facebook. “OMG this is your mother!!! I hate tattoos but under the circumstances totally support you.” Phew. Reynolds, 36, will be glad not to be sent to his room without his tea.

Talking of bees, Ukip launched its manifesto (no, stay with me). In April, its leader, Paul Nuttall, said he wanted a ban on full veils because it was important to see people’s faces. When questioned, he clarified that the ban would not apply to “big hats at all”. Beekeepers are also in the clear – there’s a picture of one on page 52 of the Ukip manifesto.

Stunt of the week: someone at Scottish Labour thought it was a good idea for leader Kezia Dugdale to challenge an SNP Stig (presumably played by a luckless intern) to a go-kart race. The party’s Twitter account posted the pictures of a triumphant Dugdale waving her helmet in the air with the caption: “Labour is in pole position to beat the SNP.” The party’s 2015 result was more of a motorway pile-up.

The conventional wisdom about manifestos is that no one pays them any attention. Unfortunately for the Tories, that doesn’t seem to be true. Their pledge to make older people pay for social care seems to have got through – in a bad way. A YouGov survey found that it was the policy voters most remembered. (For Labour, most people noticed the end of tuition fees.) On 15 May, only a fifth of people agreed with the statement that the Conservatives “have lots of policies but they don’t seem well-thought-through”. By 23 May, that figure had risen to a third.

Ukip was clearly stung – see what I did there – by criticism that its burqa ban unfairly singled out Muslims. The manifesto said the party was motivated by pure altruism, because “clothing that … prevents intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight is not liberating”. Sounds legit.

Theresa May told the Telegraph that her fantasy dinner party would include garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, travel writer Wilfred Thesiger and crime writer Agatha Christie. The last could get a real page-turner out of the internal Tory bickering over its stuttering campaign. It could be called A Manifesto Is Announced.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman


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