Sarah Olney’s honeymoon period as the newly elected MP for Richmond Park has come to an abrupt end. Hours after ousting Zac Goldsmith from the seat, the Liberal Democrat appeared on Talk Radio to give an interview to Julia Hartley-Brewer about her victory.
Alas things didn’t get off to the best start when Hartley-Brewer began by asking ‘when’s the second by-election’ — in a thinly-veiled dig at the Lib Dems’ call for a second referendum on the EU. In this vein, Hartley Brewer suggested that the people of Richmond Park might not have known what they were really voting for:
JHB: When is the second by-election going to be held?
SO: What do you mean?
JHB: Well, we don’t really know if voters knew what they were voting for when they voted for you, so should we have a second ballot? You want a second EU referendum don’t you?
SO: I was very clear in my campaign what I was voting for and the voters have returned me to Parliament with a very clear mandate.
JHB: A clear mandate — but less than 50 pc of the people voted for you. Are you sure you have that mandate?
After an awkward couple of minutes, Olney fell silent and her press officer went on to end the call. Not the best first day in the job by all accounts.