A Monster energy drink and bowling: On the general election campaign trail with Rishi Sunak

28 May 2024, 17:44 | Updated: 28 May 2024, 23:06

After a bumpy start to the Tory election campaign, day six has been somewhat smoother for Rishi Sunak.

That's not to say the Conservative election machine isn't on the lookout for potential missteps though.

During a TV interview in the changing room of a bowls club in Leicestershire, a hat was strategically placed to cover a name tag adorned with the blush-worthy surname "Glasscock".

While at a homeware factory in Staffordshire, a Tory aide spotted and swiftly removed a can of Monster energy drink from a worktop where the prime minister was about to inspect some ceramics.

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Amid a slanging match over leaders taking 'duvet days' early in the campaign, a photo of the Tory leader next to a giant caffeine-stuffed beverage is probably not the message the party wants to send out.

A Q&A; session with staff at the factory caused little controversy.

Mr Sunak's plan for a revamped national service came in for praise with one woman saying her two older sons would benefit from it, before adding in a brutally frank fashion "but they are more brawn than brains".

A man who proclaimed himself the "number one forklift truck driver" asked if there could be an extra Bank Holiday for St George's Day.

A question deftly dodged by the visiting politician.

After being drenched while announcing the election, the rain even cleared just in time for the prime minister to play a game of bowls with some pensioners in Market Bosworth.

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With a backdrop of bunting and portraits of the late Queen, this should be safe Tory territory - especially for a leader promising tax cuts for retirees.

And to be fair, he was met with a cheer when he entered the clubhouse.

But speaking to members after - a familiar sense of inevitability started to emerge.

One man said Mr Sunak seemed a decent enough man before adding "but the country wants changeā€¦ the Labour Party have got things together just as the Tories have fallen apart".

Back on the bowling green, things started looking up for the prime minister.

After a couple of ropey throws of his specially selected blue bowls, Mr Sunak eventually turned things around and ended up clinching victory.

Insert your political parallels here.

But it's worth saying that only happened after the local Tory MP knocked club president Brenda's bowl out of play.

A backbencher coming to the prime minister's rescue. There's something you don't see much of nowadays.