Mirror catches fourth senior Tory "breaking law" while out cycling

Shadow International Development Secretary gets to stand in the corner with Dave and Boris

by Simon_MacMichael   April 4, 2010  

Palace Of Westminster At Night © Andrew Dunn.jpg

A senior Conservative politician has been caught on camera in London apparently riding his bicycle through red lights and going the wrong way down one-way streets.

 The Mirror, which published the pictures on its website, says that Shadow International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell rode through eight sets of traffic lights, and claims that he “narrowly avoided several pedestrians, cars and a doubledecker bus as he careered over crossings and pedalled along busy pavements.”

It claimed that he had even been spotted using his BlackBerry while cycling along and “wore dark waterproofs on his way to Westminster from his house in Islington, North London, rather than reflective gear as safety groups advise” – although neither of those constitutes breaking the law when riding a bike.

The newspaper, perhaps unintentionally giving the impression that it employs a crack team of reporters and photographers for the specific purpose of catching out Conservative politicians while they are pedaling bicycles rather than policies, says that Mr Mitchell is the fourth senior Tory it has caught breaking the law while out cycling, joining party leader David Cameron, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and former strategist Steve Hilton in its hall of shame.

It added that Mr Mitchell, who is the MP for Sutton Coldfield, claimed that he had no "clear recollection" of the road traffic offences that it said that he'd committed, stating “I always look carefully at the traffic when I'm cycling. Cycling safety is extremely important and I must do better. I've been cycling in London for 13 years."

Labour MP Emily Thornberry, who is vice-chairwoman of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, told the newspaper: "This is profoundly foolish and reckless behaviour."

While that sentiment will be shared by many road.cc readers, who in our poll earlier this year cited issues such as riding through red lights as their biggest bugbear about other cyclists, it’s hardly a surprising one with Mr Mitchell sitting on the other side of the House of Commons and a General Election just weeks away.

The Mirror added that a spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents had stated that Mr Mitchell’s behaviour was "disappointing."

4 user comments

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Nice to see that politicians are representative of a cross section of the cycling public!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1394 posts]
5th April 2010 - 13:10


he may be a bad rider - but i wonder how many examples of poor driving you could find in the same place / same time?

tabloids? perspective? never! Smile

posted by james-o [221 posts]
6th April 2010 - 17:56


Person using vehicle and not following rules news shock!

posted by pickles [28 posts]
7th April 2010 - 8:10


Breaking road rules? On my 16 mile (motor)bike ride to work this morning I spotted two people jabbering on cellphones as they drove, two cars with very flat tyres and one spewing white smoke from its exhaust - a sure sign that it was burning oil and not road legal as it couldn't pass emission laws. I couldn't count how many people broke the speed limit. News story? What news story?


posted by OldRidgeback [2444 posts]
8th April 2010 - 15:11