I went on Rishi Sunak’s election battle bus and it is the poshest factor on wheels

Rishi Sunak launched his manifesto today at Silverstone – usually home to the high-octane thrills and screeching tyres of professional motor racing.

But it wasn’t all about F1 cars and Aston Martins – another souped-up roadster rolled into the home of British motorsport today, and I was on board. That’s right, I’m talking about Rishi Sunak ’s Tory battle bus.

While it’s technically been on the road for a week or so already, with a handful of hand-picked journalists aboard, today was the first day regular old Parliamentary press lobby hacks were allowed to muddy up the carpets of his highway hideaway.

And it might just be the poshest thing on wheels. So let me take you on a tour of the Conservative Party‘s luxury mobile office.

Let’s start with the specifications.

The battle bus in all it's glory

The battle bus in all it’s glory
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Tory battle bus is a 68-plate Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, with Tory slogan “Clear Plan, Bold Action, Secure Future” emblazoned on the side.

And yes, it’s ULEZ compliant.

The leather upholstery and video screens bearing constant slogans give a real uptown Pyongyang feel to the interior

The leather upholstery and video screens bearing constant slogans give a real uptown Pyongyang feel to the interior

The seats are, of course, leather and plush and they recline a bit. There’s a plug and USB socket for each seat. And all of them – even the single-row ones – has a firm, usable laptop table.

Then there’s the kitchen.

As a child I would travel by National Express coach quite frequently – and in the 1980s having something to eat or drink on a coach usually meant waiting until Leicester Forest East services and making do with a Panda Pop and a limp ham sandwich.

Or – even more frequently – it would be a limp ham sandwich you’d brought from home, with the added warmth and sweatiness of a few hours in the bottom of your bag.

If the above triggers misty nostalgia for you too, you might need to sit down.

Because this bus has a fully fitted kitchen. Sink, worktops, microwave – and a double oven. A DOUBLE OVEN.

Two ovens. An oven, and then another oven on top of it. Twin ovens.

Two ovens. An oven, and then another oven on top of it. Twin ovens.

No, we can’t think of a situation you’d need one oven on a coach, either. Let alone twice that many.

Perhaps on a Sunday, Rishi likes to prepare everyone a delicious roast lunch? And you know you just can’t get the roast potatoes right if they’re at the same temperature as the bird, can you?

Or maybe they’re planning to hold a bake-off halfway up the M1? Perhaps Oliver Dowden is so eager to show off both his Victoria sponge and his rustic sourdough loaf, and just couldn’t make do with a single appliance.

These are literally the only reasons I can think of. If there are others, I’d love to hear them.

But that’s not all

Labour ’s Angela Rayner recently gave an interview where she deliciously deadpanned the revelation that her battle bus has “a fridge.”

Not to be outdone, the Prime Minister’s bus has not two – but FOUR fridges, which slide out from under the countertops.

Yes, I checked what was in them. Of course I did. I’m a professional journalist. One was full of more Fanta than anyone could reasonably need. Another contained water – still and sparkling.

The third was home to the milk.

And the fourth? The fourth was empty, presumably in case the PM needs a place to hide.

Finally, on the opposite wall was a full-on Nespresso machine, with drawers full of average pod coffee in a variety of flavours. Including, for some reason, decaf.

Rishi Sunak's squishy leather throne

Rishi Sunak’s squishy leather throne

At the back is a boardroom with an extra-plush u-shaped seating amenity around a curiously ovular table.

There’s no VIP aboard the bus today, but if there were, this would be where they go for a bit of quiet, or to do one-on-one interviews.

One imagines the Prime Minister, on less auspicious days, resplendent atop this glorious, squishy, leather throne – sequestered from the bustle of campaign life and able to take a moment just for him, his Emily In Paris box set and a bottle of Mexican coke.

But as I say, there was no VIP on the bus today, so I sat in there. I can confirm the seats are almost unreasonably comfortable for a wheeled vehicle. They may, in fact, be squishier than my sofa at home.