JUST before we get stuck into what’s going on at the Labour Party conference, let’s wind back a week for another reminder as to why Jonny Bucknell – the deselected Conservative councillor in Belsize ward – will be missed at least for his eccentricity. You’ll remember he has already let loose a mechanical rat in the council chamber since being told he won’t be on the ballot paper next May, and sits at his place on the backbenches with a papier-mâché hand next to him at meetings on the basis that he needs to keep a hand up all night to stand any chance of being called to speak.
At the recent public meeting on moped crime and phone muggings in St Stephen’s Church in Hampstead – a session organised by his group leader Claire-Louise Leyland – he reached for an angle grinder to show how easy the tool could be carried around in a rewsack (his pronunciation) and then used to cut through chains supposedly securing your scooter.
It was, of course, vintage Bucknell then for him to discover that when his moment came to unleash his demonstration that the angle grinder had a flat battery, and he spent next few minutes trying to make it work while the meeting went on around him. As the footage shows, CLL does her best, holding out a mic, while the police begin talking among themselves.
‘What is that man doing?’, were the whispers from the back row.