Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The story behind the collapse...

There was a right rigmarole during Barack Obama’s speech earlier after an MP collapsed half way through – but the incident ended up with another MP getting a private moment with the most sought after politician on the planet.

Like the thousand or so other members of the audience, Stafford Tory Jeremy Lefroy (pictured) had been waiting hours in Westminster Hall for Obama to arrive and speak.

But at about 5pm his colleagues standing around saw the poor chap suddenly drop to the floor. Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham and others were on hand.

While the President carried on, Latham and co carried Lefroy out of a side entrance, but initially couldn’t rouse him.

She told Lobbydog: “It was quite frightening and pretty dramatic because we had no idea what was wrong. But in the end he had been a little ill before hand and had just become dehydrated over the day.”

The group arranged an ambulance and rushed to and from his parliamentary office attempting to find his medical history for paramedics – it was only when they arrived that Lefroy woke up and became alert again.

With her colleague from Stafford safely on his way to hospital, Latham returned to hear the second half of the President’s speech only to find it had finished and Obama was now being swamped by politicians eager to shake the golden-boy’s hand.

Unable to get back in she milled about outside, but then by coincidence happened to bump in to Obama as he left and was able to engage him in conversation with hardly anyone else around for a good few minutes.

That was an opportunity many of the MPs inside, and no doubt some of my lobby colleagues would have done a lot for.

She said: “I hadn’t expected to get a proper conversation with him, but he was suddenly there and I told him what had happened.

“He said he hoped that I’d enjoyed the first half of the speech that I’d seen and sent his best wishes to Jeremy, he was a very charming man.”

The Stafford MP was taken to St Thomas’ hospital on the other side of Westminster Bridge, but is fine and is expected to go home tonight – a happy ending for everyone.