Few politicians get to write their own obituary, but a Labour MEP did just that when he got trapped in a lift.
Displaying a wonderfully British ‘stiff upper lip’ as he contemplated his final moments, Paul Brannen decided to film on his phone his “last testimony” in case he never got out alive.
In perhaps a gift to Brexit campaigners, Brannen discovered that some parts of the European Parliament literally don’t work, as he found himself stranded in a lift in its Brussels HQ.
Dangling upto 100 feet in the air, he described how the elevator suddenly stopped on its way to the 13th floor - and the doors opened to just a metal wall.
“I’ve been here for about 20 minutes and they’re currently trying to get me out,” he says.
With typically English understatement, Brannen - MEP for the North East - explains just why he was worried.
“It’s slightly disconcerting, truth be told. The lift’s now rattling up and down a bit and there was quite a bit of dust when we came to a sudden stop. When I say ‘we’, actually I’m the only person in the lift.”
The European Parliament building in Brussels
And he added this Monty Pythonesque touch of pathos.
‘This could well be my last testimony, but thoroughly enjoyed being an MEP, and it’s been great. Love to the family, and…so long. Always look on the bright side of life, that’s what I say..”
Brannen was eventually rescued.
And as he tweeted afterwards, his ordeal could have been worse.
Stephen Fry once relieved the boredom of being stuck in a lift by live tweeting his experience. But he wasn't alone. Or reduced to making a videoed last will and testament.
Stephen Fry in 2009