A bicycle pump used to keep the head of Conservative MP Eric Pickles bloated during the day has gone missing from a House of Commons locker, revealed his press secretary yesterday.
The MP, who uses the pump to keep his head unfeasibly large and sweaty while he is away from home has warned fellow MPs that without it, his head will gradually start to leak air and within hours he could end up looking relatively normal again.
Colleagues of the MP say he manages to control the air supply in his head by the use of a series of cleverly concealed valves located in the back of his considerable neck and the loss of the bicycle pump will undoubtedly affect his ability to maintain that constant pallid, doughy appearance.
Pickles says he started using the pump to inflate his head as a young boy in an attempt to stop bullies from the local Comprehensive school shoving his head through the park gates and pulling his trousers down.
‘Those bullies tried to make me look ridiculous’ said Pickles ‘and I vowed never to suffer that same ridicule or humiliation ever again’
Pickles has been a keen ‘head pumper’ ever since, winning several awards back home in his native Yorkshire.
This is not the first time that Pickles seismic head has caused concern in the Commons with many MPs on both sides refusing to enter the House, fearing the slightest touch could set it off, showering the chamber with maggots and bile in every direction
But the MP has always defended the size of his head, explaining that male members of his family have been inflating their heads for generations. He argued that although some may have looked rather liverish in the past and others a little ruddy at times - apart from the unfortunate cannonball incident during the Charge of the Light Brigade - there has never been a single recorded incident of an inflated head ever exploding of its own volition.
Pickles has resisted calls from fellow MPs to have a large wicker basket attached to his legs and has assured them there is no cause for concern as – in the unlikely event his head should explode - then the special lead weights sewn into his trousers will stop him spiralling out of control and getting snagged in the Commons vaulted ceiling.
Dermatologists have reassured MPs that, although the generously proportioned head looks as though it could explode at any moment, the skin is actually quite saggy and soft to the touch. They think this is due to the MPs ability to shed his skin and regenerate every 4 years– just like all 650 members of his species.
Plans to erect a life-size bust of Pickles head in his home town of Keighley are on hold after owners of a wind farm in West Morton which is only 15 miles away from the proposed site, warned it could see them go out of business.
Footnote: Members of the public are able to visit the MP at his surgery on the last Wednesday of every month but are asked not to touch, stroke or lick his head but they are welcome to take away a piece of his loose skin as a memento of their visit to the Commons
Visitors who have licked or fondled the MPs skin say he gives off a sharp but not unpleasant acidic taste and felt an uncontrollable urge to kiss his full, luscious lips and exchange oral fluids. However, this is just an occasional treat for Tory faithful and visitors are urged not to expect this every time.