Greengrocer’s catastrophe: Keir Starmer branded a ‘lemon’ in Wakefield

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Paul Stoner presents Sir Keir with a lemon to let him know what he thinks of the Labour leader - Charlotte Graham
Paul Stoner presents Sir Keir with a lemon to let him know what he thinks of the Labour leader - Charlotte Graham

Sir Keir Starmer was mocked by a greengrocer who gave him a lemon as he walked past his shop because he thinks “he’s a bit of a joke”.

The Labour leader was visiting the small market town of Ossett celebrating Simon Lightwood’s victory in the Wakefield by-election when the trader initially offered him an apple.

A slightly bemused Sir Keir said “thank you” and went to take the fruit but when he did the man grinned and passed him a lemon instead.

Still looking confused, Sir Keir walked away to greet the small crowd gathered in a nearby market square who had come to celebrate the election win.

Speaking to The Telegraph after Sir Keir had been whisked away by his entourage, Paul Stoner explained why he had made the unusual offering.

The 60-year-old said: “I asked him if he wanted an apple and when he said ‘yes’ I gave him a lemon because I think he’s a bit of a joke.

“If you call someone a lemon you think they are a bit of an idiot, a bit sour.

“He didn’t even realise it wasn’t an apple. He just looked confused and said ‘thank you’.”

Mr Stoner, who has worked in the small fruit and veg shop for the past ten years, said he didn’t understand how Sir Keir could claim to represent working-class people.

He added: “I just don’t understand, if he is a Sir, how he can represent the Labour Party and working-class people.

“Also, I don’t like anything he says and I just thought it was funny.”