WATCH: Why politicians and small children do not mix

Posted On: 
16th February 2017

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one spoke volumes.

Theresa May appears to be less than comfortable while visiting a primary school in Copeland.
Credit: 
PA Images

There was Theresa May, grimacing as she sat in a primary school classroom with a child on either side. And she looked like she would rather have been anywhere else on the planet.

The Prime Minister was putting herself through the ordeal during a trip to Copeland to give her support to Tory by-election candidate Trudy Harrison.

But she can at least console herself with the fact that she wasn't the first politician to fail at being down with the kids - and she certainly won't be the last.

So join us as we look back at other encounters with the voters of tomorrow which have spectacularly backfired.

While politicians insist they love nothing more than straight talking, few are as blunt and to the point as school children, as David Cameron found out with this young girl's assessment of his story-telling skills.

Meanwhile, former Chancellor George Osborne’s ill-advised but daring move to enter the school kid conversation challenge with nothing but confidence in his own spontaneity went down like the proverbial broken lift.

And if making small talk isn’t hard enough, there's always the faint possibility of views that you weren’t quite expecting. That's when the 'nod and follow up comment' skill faces its true test, as former Labour MP Tristram Hunt found out…

Yet there's always the chance you've made a career out of an eccentric and bumbling persona, and the misfortune of rugby tackling a small boy is just another one to add to the list.

But unfortunately for our MPs, the nature of Twitter makes it unlikely the public will be able to forget such mishaps.

Perhaps this picture of a deflated Nick Clegg eating a mince pie sums up the whole dispiriting ordeal.