MPs flip their way to victory in Parliamentary Pancake race
MPs keep their pancake flipping title for the second year running against Lords and Parliamentary journalists
MPs are celebrating this morning after a storming victory over the Lords.
No, this isn’t the end of a climactic cross-Parliament battle on any legislation. It’s bigger than that. It’s the Parliamentary Pancake Race.
With teams of Lords, MPs and Parliamentary journalists gathering on Tuesday morning for a charity Pancake Day race, one thing was certain - they are all fiercely competitive.
From the House of Commons, the LibDems were out in force with Mike Crockart, Martin Horwood, Julian Huppert, Stephen Lloyd and Tessa Munt MP. The Tories were represented by Tracey Crouch, Tim Loughton and Jason McCartney while Labour was there in the forms of Cathy Jamieson, Ian Murray and Stephen Pound MP.
The Upper House was represented by LibDems Lord Addington, Baroness Kramer, Lord Redesdale and Lord Rennard. Lord Dubs propped up the Labour Lords side while there were no Tory Lords to be found. Although Lord St John of Bletso provided support as a Crossbench peer.
Meanwhile the journalists were led by BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson and included Guardian Political Editor Patrick Wintour, Total Politics editor Ben Duckworth, Channel 4 News poltiical editor Gary Gibbon and Sky News Political Correspondent Sophy Ridge.
LondonlovesBusiness.com was on the scene at Victoria Tower Gardens, just down the road from the Parliament, to check out the racing action.
Although LondonlovesBusiness.com wasn’t competing in the journalists’ team, we were there to bring you the latest political pancake action.
They were all competing in the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race not just for victory, but for chance to win the Pancake Race’s “Magnificent Tin Cup”.
The race has been going for the last few years thanks to the charity Rehab, which puts it on to raise awareness of their activities supporting people with disabilities.
Rest assured, it has become a staple of the Parliamentary calendar to see MPs and Lords at their most competitive.
MPs, Lords and journalists feverishly flipped and practised in preparation for the race. MPs donned their white aprons, journalists sported red while the Lords were in blue.
The mood was tense but jovial. Quips and pre-race trash talk flew, mainly thanks to the waspishness of Ealing North MP Stephen Pound and Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd. After MPs had gathered for their pancake photoshoot, Lloyd was heard telling photographers - “right, next get all the journalists. They’ll probably all be drunk!”.
Sky News presenter Lorna Dunkley, who was presiding over the race, warned racers that dirty tricks would not be allowed - an awkward restriction for these seasoned political practitioners. “Watch out, we don’t want to have another by-election on our hands!” one waggish MP shouted on being alerted to a puddle further up the race-track.
The rules were strict. Racers must keep flipping their pancakes. Three feet in the air each time. And on getting to the finish, they must swap pans - pancake included - with the next member of their team so they can zip around the track.
Nevertheless, some racers couldn’t help doing anything they could to win. Pushes. Shoves. Desperate lunges to claw back a lead. These Parliamentarians would stop at nothing, as former education minister Tim Loughton MP demonstrates.
In the end though, a winner had to be declared and that was the team of MPs. The MPs built on their winning streak after flipping their way to the top last year as well.
Their skills at flipping pancakes can only be welcomed after the last story to link MPs with “flipping” was back in 2009, and such stories about expenses didn’t go down as well.