Ed Davey on his love of mushy peas and how he was nearly a real-life James Bond

Sir Ed Davey will be hoping that the Liberal Democrats can smash down the Blue wall in tomorrow’s local elections.

Following our interview with Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer yesterday, today Metro catches up with the Lib Dem leader to talk Eurovision, how he nearly became a spy and reveals a shocking attempt at fancy dress.

It’s Eurovision next weekend, and I know you are multi-lingual and a chorister as kid – so will you be singing along at home?

I’ll never forget watching Eurovision as a kid and watching Abba win with Waterloo was unforgettable. I am hoping to be singing along next week with the kids. We’ll be cheering Mae Mellor on for sure.

We have to mention Notts County, who after a fantastic season, have just been beaten at the last hurdle by Hollywood superstars Wrexham…

Notts have gone through some ups and downs in recent years, and it’s been a brilliant season. It was real heartache losing to Wrexham, especially the penalty save from Ben Foster at the death, but fair play to Wrexham, it is a Hollywood fairytale and I don’t want to take anything away from them.

What, politics aside, is your proudest moment?

The birth of my children. Any parent knows your first born and all your children are just a moment of sheer bliss. You walk on clouds for days afterwards and the smile stays permanently on your face.

You’ve worked as a postman, a cleaner at a French Holiday campsite, and a pork pie factory, what was the worst job you’ve had?

I was a student at university, and Northern Foods employed people just before Christmas as there was a massive rush for pork pies before Christmas.

They also had us rolling scotch eggs with our hands, and this big bucket of eggs in water that smelt disgusting and you would roll it in mince-meat by hand. It was the worst job by a country mile.

You turned down working for MI6 just a few months after graduating from university…

It was James Bond or economics for the Lib Dems for me back then, and people can judge for themselves my choice.

Interestingly I think one of the reasons MI6 approached me, is because I lost my parents when I was young. There is that sense about spies that if you don’t have those connections, then you just work harder for your country, so I guess my background isn’t too dis-similar from James Bond in some ways too.

What about the James Bond movies? Who should replace Daniel Craig?

He will be a tough act to follow, but I think James Norton from Happy Valley would be great. He’s got that rugged look in a slightly reserved way. He would be great in the way that Bond can be rugged but also emotional, and also quite introverted and keeps himself to himself.

We know that the environment holds a strong place in your policies but are you green-fingered at all?

I really like gardening but I don’t get much time to do it, I’ve got a disabled son and we created a special veg garden for him that we built up with railway sleepers.

He loves going for little potatoes so we grow a little at home, it’s more because it gives him something he can do and enjoy, so whether it is tomatoes or strawberries or potatoes.

Last year you made the switch to a vegan diet to help lose weight – do you ever have a craving for a bacon sandwich etc?

I must confess although I did eat a lot of vegan food to lose weight I do still eat fish, and eat the occasional bit of meat. I’m not a strict vegan and don’t want to mislead people. I like meat and I’ve cut down dramatically but there are still some things that I have a soft-spot and lamb and a lasagne are two of those.’

To celebrate the Coronation someone has created a bust of the King made out of 23kg of chocolate. What would you want a bust of you made out of?

Recycled tyres. I believe in recycling first of all, and gradually we’re going to be walking more and using public transport more. It would also be a sign that while i’m not anti-car we’ve got to start using greener and greener forms of transport.

Can you tell Metro readers something they may not know about you?

I am a big mushy pea fan, and when I was in sixth form I was organising the sixth form social, and everyone wanted a fancy dress competition, and because I love them so much I went dressed as a mushy pea.

At Nottingham’s famous Goose Fair you would have these massive draws of mushy peas on the stalls and you would get a polystyrene carton of mushy peas and munch on them when we would walk around so it stems back to that. It was a green blanket that had been hanging around the house and I cut it up. It was hopeless.

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