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ELECTION 2024: Lib Dem leader launches campaign with disabled son

Ed davey with his son John

The Liberal Democrats have launched their election broadcasts featuring party leader Ed Davey with his disabled son, John.

Being the lesser known of the three pivotal leaders, Davey has tried to raise his profile with a series of stunts, which have seen him hurtling down a waterslide, cycling down a hill and falling off a paddleboat.

But his new tactic shows a more human side as we see him bonding with his son, highlighting the work of carers.

Davey recently opened up about losing his parents at an early age and his concern to who will look after John after he dies.

He told the Guardian it was a family decision between him and his wife Emily to feature in the campaign film with their 16-year-old son, but the parents had a “long chat” before reaching an agreement.

“It’s not always been comfortable, talking about that, but it’s a serious message,” Davey told the publication. “It’s just telling my story and hoping – because there are millions of people like me – that I can bring the caring issue out of the shadows. It’s been in the shadows for far too long.”

In an interview with ITV the former Cabinet minister shared concerns on his son’s future, who has limited speech and is unable to walk.

'He's going to need 24/7 care for the rest of his life, I worry about who is going to look after him,' Davey explained.

The Lib Dems leader lost his father at the age of four then had to face the devastating news when his mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness when he was a teenager.

In later life Davey had another emotional challenge when he was told his wife was living with multiple sclerosis.

He told ITV Tonight's The Leader Interviews: 'My wife has MS so she can do quite a bit but she can't do some things.

'My day tends to start with getting him out of bed, taking him to the toilet, taking his nappy off to give him a shower and cleaning his teeth.

'We massage him every day to keep his limbs supple. He'll wake up between 5.30 and 6 o'clock and shout for his daddy, so his daddy has to get up and start that routine.”

Davey took last weekend off from his election campaign so he could spend quality time with his son.

'One of my biggest fears in life is what happens to him when I'm gone,' he confessed.

'I reflect on what my mother thought. I remember I'd been on a school trip to Germany when she was ill and I took a picture of me and this German girl - we'd spoken for about five minutes, it wasn't anything more than that.

'I showed my trip photos to my mum, and she said to me, 'I wonder who you are going to end up with?''

Davey continued: : 'It's slightly different with John - because he's going to need 24/7 care for the rest of his life, I worry about who is going to look after him.

'No one is going to love him or hold him like I or my wife hold him, so we think about that.

'I'm sure all parents think about that, in some way, but when you've got a child that's so vulnerable with special needs, it's particularly pertinent.

'I think caring and carers is something that I almost have a duty to stand up for and talk about.'

[ At the 2009 Liberal Democrat conference, John Davey caused controversy saying it was  "time for tea with the Taliban" ]

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