Pundemonium! Energy Secretary Ed Davey delivers cringe-inducing gag-filled speech to Lib Dem conference

He concluded the speech, in which he referred to himself as "fracking responsible", by extending an open hand to Labour on climate policy

Energy Secretary Ed Davey today took his position in an illustrious club - politicians who can't tell jokes.

Speaking  to the Lib Dem party conference in Glasgow today, Mr Davey delivered a series of flat one-liners and tired puns which were met with groans and feeble laughter.

Employing possibly the most over-used double entendre of recent years, Davey said he was "fracking responsible" for putting an end to the "hyperbole" surrounding controversial shale gas exploration.

Perhaps trying to invoke the disarming charm of Boris Johnson's naff gags, he went on.

"Liberal Democrats, our fights to green this Government haven't just faced opposition from the badgering of Owen Paterson or the pickling of Eric. No. We have had to face the ultimate test - the charm of Michael Gove. Mr Gove and his draft curriculum for geography. Strong on European continental drift. Weak on climate change."

The only laughs of the day came when Mr Davey joked that the Conservative Party had been "lovebombing UKIP". Spinning the jibe a literary angle, he suggested that Tory backbenchers were guilty of "fantasising" about with Nigel Farage, adding: "They long to be Sancho Panza, to the UKIP Don Quixote."

This tickled the fancy of the more high-minded delegates, who 'got' the reference to Panza, a peasant who followed Don Quixote around devotedly. Before exiting the stage, he steered the speech into more serious territory, making an offer to the Labour Party leader Ed Miliband to join the Liberal Democrats in the fight against climate change.

He said: "Given his track record, surely he would want to improve Labour's act on climate change? So today I'm giving him the chance."

Addressing Mr Miliband directly, he said: "Ed, I'm inviting you to share in my advanced planning and strategy for the critical global conference on climate change in December 2015 - that's after the next election. For the next Government - whichever parties are in it - will need to hit the ground running to fight for the greenest deal for the planet."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor