“I’ve done the opens and the closes, I’ve worked on the drive-thru and cooked McNuggets”. It’s not quite how you would expect an election campaign video to begin.
But after an angry voter told him to “f*** off back to McDonald’s”, John Leech has hit back by launching his bid to reclaim the coveted south Manchester seat… in McDonald’s.
“I’m responding in the only way I know how – launching my campaign in McDonald’s”, he said kicking things off in his former workplace.
In his launch video, already watched by more than 75,000, Leech says, “This is where it started out for me, this was my first proper job. I worked at McDonald’s for five years; I worked the till, I worked the drive-thru, I did the opens, I did the closes, cooked the fries, cooked the McNuggets. I know what it’s like and how hard it can be to make ends meet.”
Leech explains that until Brexit is sorted, none of the important issues like housing, crime and the climate crisis can be tackled.
Unsurprisingly, Leech says the only way to sort Brexit is to stop Brexit.
It didn’t take Twitter users long to poke fun, however.
The Lib Dems will be hoping to capitalise on claims that the constituency voted around 75% Remain in the 2016 EU Referendum, placing it in the top 10 highest Remain-voting constituencies in the country, and the first outside of London.
The former MP faces an uphill battle: Labour are defending a whopping majority of nearly 30,000.
To overcome that, the Lib Dems will need to turn up their campaign machine to maximum.
Leech won the seat with a record-breaking swing in 2005 and held it for a decade, before being caught in the catastrophic Lib Dem bloodbath of 2015.
But rather than retreating to the private sector like many ex MPs, Leech got back on the doorsteps and was elected as the sole opposition member on Manchester Council with a mighty 22% swing less than a year later.
Hitting out at his opponent, Leech added, “Corbyn and my opponent in Manchester have ordered Labour MPs to vote with the Conservatives to deliver Brexit on more than 25 separate occasions, including triggering Article 50 and blocking six opportunities for a second referendum.
“Representing the people of south Manchester was the greatest honour of my life but this election is about one thing and one thing only – Brexit.”
“This could be the most significant election for a generation.
“You can’t stop a Tory Brexit with a Labour Brexit. Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future.”
Other seats the Lib Dems in Greater Manchester are hoping to reclaim ground in include the now ex-Labour MP Angela Smith in Altrincham and Sale West who goes up against Sir Graham Brady, Tom Morrison in Cheadle and Lisa Smart in Hazel Grove.