June2017 27 April 2017 Tim Farron is being unfairly maligned for inviting us to smell his spaniel The truth behind “smell my spaniel”. Twitter/@timfarron Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up Out on the campaign trail in Cambridge, the Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was caught inexplicably inviting voters to “smell my spaniel”. Here is the shock footage: Here's Tim Farron saying "smell my spaniel". pic.twitter.com/GSRxJ1g5wj — Ellie Price (@EllieJPrice) April 27, 2017 “Smell my spaniel, maybe, maybe… oh, how are you? Good to see you!” he said, while the top political journalists of the nation scratched their heads. “A new Lib Dem slogan?” asked the BBC. The “catchphrase of the general election” declared the Telegraph. A new, surprisingly progressive “theological pronouncement”, was this mole’s first thought. And he has, of course, been ridiculed online: “And I say to all of you. Go back to your constituencies and smell my spaniel” pic.twitter.com/UqRM6H0Nzm — Mike Pullen (@MikePullen1969) April 27, 2017 "Smell my lyrical spaniel" says Libdeminem aka The Real Tim Shady https://t.co/BVVx01hVAd — TheIainDuncanSmiths (@TheIDSmiths) April 27, 2017 "Smell my spaniel!" #farron #partridge #pisspoor pic.twitter.com/GQ9jkYzm6b — David Yems (@DJYems) April 27, 2017 'smell my spaniel' 'no' 'pls' 'go on then' pic.twitter.com/rcvvCUeLqQ — Matthew Champion (@matthewchampion) April 27, 2017 "Hi there. Wanna smell my spaniel?" pic.twitter.com/zOYOPbOFae — David Whitley (@mrdavidwhitley) April 27, 2017 @mrdavidwhitley "smell it" "no" "smell it" "no" "SMELL MY SPANIEL" "fuck's sake Tim this is live." pic.twitter.com/3eJHvINFWF — Robin Harrison (@rharrison744) April 27, 2017 But no. Look closer. What’s going on is clear. Farron is not inviting voters to sniff his spaniel at all; he is addressing a dog. One of the activists in the huddle he is speaking to is holding a little dog wearing a Liberal Democrat rosette: And here is said dog with Farron: Here's a pic of Tim Farron with the dog pic.twitter.com/hBFruJov24 — Helena Horton (@horton_official) April 27, 2017 Farron is clearly being sniffed by the dog, because he is carrying the smell of his own dog, Jasper the spaniel. Mad dog and Englishman out fell running in the evening sun... pic.twitter.com/Yk8NGsyLSy — Tim Farron (@timfarron) October 10, 2015 Was Farron actually commenting that the little Lib Dem pooch was sniffing its party leader because he smelt like another dog? In these uncertain times of fake news and eroding trust, let’s get our spaniel sniffing story straight. › Why is the Handmaid's Tale claimed as feminist, when it's deeply ambivalent about the movement? I'm a mole, innit. Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!