Don’t mention Brighton Pavillion

SLIGHT faux pas by me yesterday morning. As I lost myself on the grounds of the London School of Economics looking for the Quad, I bumped into an equally lost looking woman who like me was searching for Ed Miliband and his talk on the wisdom of  living wages.

“I’ve come up from Brighton,” she said. “Ah, where Caroline Lucas just won for the Greens – have you seen the front page of the Independent,” I replied, referring to that paper’s expansive report on the Green MP’s first speech in the Commons. The woman sighed: “Yes – yes… I was the Labour parliamentary candidate in that seat – and everybody reminds me about it.”


The woman was Nancy Platts, 1,252 votes shy of Lucas in Brighton Pavillion earlier this month. We parted at the steps of the Quad, which turned out to be the renovated old student union nightclub, where the sticky floors I remembered have been replaced with a sky-light and bookshops. And Ed Miliband waving his arms around.

No doubt Nancy will be an MP one day but I’m sure I dropped a conversation-killing clanger in those clumsy few moments we stumbled along Houghton Street together.

The Independent, by the way, ran a filmstrip row of pictures of  Lucas in the Commons on its front page, presenting her maiden speech as a piece of historic drama which the other nationals had overlooked. Note the man who called Lucas to rise to her feet: Huw Bayley, the deputy speaker and former Camden councillor.

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