The Members' Lobby sits between Central Lobby and the House of Commons Chamber. It’s
a large square room, mainly in marble, and features the statues of former Prime Ministers. It’s also
an area where MPs collect their messages and important papers, and hang around chatting before
going into Chamber.
Standing in bronze, with his hands on his hips, is Sir Winston Churchill. Prime Minister
during the Second World War and perhaps looked upon as a one of Britain’s heroes; what with all
that he did for the country. Whereas the whole of him is a crinkly, dull, brown texture, his left shoe
has been polished to a lighter colour. It’s as if he’s wearing odd shoes. It is said that touching his
foot brings an MP good luck as they enter the Chamber, and over the decades this has made it shiny.
The MP for Oldham was about to do just that. He reached out with his left hand, one eye on
where he was going and the other on Winston’s shoe.
The shoe moved.
The MP looked up into the face of the statue, with his left hand suspended over where the
shoe had been. His brain tried to comprehend what had just happened.
The statue of Winston Churchill has actually pulled his foot back.
Oldham’s Member of Parliament wanted to fall over. He stood with his mouth open. Other
MPs were also motionless, open mouthed, as if copying him. It was obvious that the shoe was now
in a different position.
The statue moved again.
Slowly and stiffly, Churchill started to straighten up. Still with his hands on his hips, he
turned his head cautiously, as if suffering from an old neck injury.
The MP uttered something incomprehensible. Surely, this must be some sort of stunt, the
prime minister trying to get everyone’s attention about something or other. There, he thought, the
Prime Minister is just entering the room, right on cue; clever, very clever indeed.
What was even more clever was when the statue spoke.
“Since when has the MP for Oldham had to rely on luck?” said the statue.
The MP fell into a seated position on the floor as if simply knocked down by the voice. He
looked at the Prime Minister seeking some confirmation that all this was his doing. The Prime
Minister was looking just as stunned.
There was movement next to the PM. A bodyguard was pulling out his gun.
“Armed Police. Keep still.”
The bodyguard held the gun out in front of him with both hands. He pointed it at the statue
of Churchill then at the MP for Oldham, as if not quite sure of the real threat.
“Clear the room, clear the room,” someone else shouted.
Another bodyguard appeared and immediately took up a position in front of the Prime
Minister. The PM was ushered out through the doorway while being steered in a crouched position
and looking as if something was about to drop on his head.
This was complete madness.
The MP for Oldham wondered if it was all his fault.
The statue of Winston Churchill appeared to be smiling.