Former government minister Margaret Hodge apologises after dooring cyclist

Barking MP not the first minister to accept responsibility for collision involving a cyclist

by Simon_MacMichael   May 2, 2013  

Margaret Hodge (source labour.org.uk)

Former government minister Margaret Hodge has apologised to a cyclist whom she struck while opening her car door yesterday evening, and has denied that she was using a mobile phone when the incident happened.

The BBC says that the cyclist involved was unharmed in the incident, which took place at around 6pm yesterday evening in the MP’s Barking Constituency, where she was canvassing ahead of today’s local elections.

"Mrs Hodge had parked her car and the engine was switched off,” said a statement from her office.

"As she was getting out of the vehicle she struck a cyclist with the car door.

"She acknowledges that the accident was completely her fault and that she should have been more careful, which she will be in future.

"She apologised profusely to the cyclist, who was unharmed. They shook hands before he went on his way.

"Mrs Hodge had her mobile phone in her hand as she left the car but was not using it," the statement added.

The politician, elected to the House of Commons in 1994, is currently chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

The 68-year-oldhas held three separate ministerial positions from 2003 to 2010 – first as Minister for Children, then Work and finally Culture and Tourism, losing that job when the Coalition Government came to power.

She’s not the first minister to have accepted responsibility for a collision involving a cyclist.

As we reported last year, in 2009 Simon Burns, MP for Chelmsford West, and currently Minister of State for Transport, was convicted of careless driving as a result of an incident in which a cyclist’s neck was broken in two places.

Initially he pleaded not guilty, but subsequently admitted his guilt and was fined £400, ordered to pay £200 in costs and had his driving licence endorsed with four penalty points.

When he was interviewed by police after the incident in April 2008, which occurred as he drove his Range Rover out of the Commons Car Park and into Westminster Square, the MP - then in opposition - claimed the road had been clear.

CCTV footage however clearly showed the victim - Army Major Stuart Lane – with Mr Burns’ manoeuvre, according to the prosecution, making a collision “inevitable.”

Earlier in 2012, Mr Burns’ predecessor at the Department for Transport, Theresa Villiers, was herself the victim in a cycling incident, the MP for Chipping Barnet breaking her collarbone after a fall from her bike while riding to work.
 

11 user comments

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Fella, driving a range rover in the heart of London (!), breaks a cyclist's neck due to an irresponsible manoeuvre. Denies it, till is shown the footage and forced to accept. As punishment, is made to pay £600 and made Minister for transport. Apt punishment.

~rbx

rbx's picture

posted by rbx [243 posts]
2nd May 2013 - 23:22

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"Margaret Hodge has apologised to a cyclist"
" the cyclist involved was unharmed in the incident"

Very good but this is still a road traffic offence.....and one not taken seriously.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1986/1078/regulation/105/made

posted by Bristolbybike [11 posts]
2nd May 2013 - 23:53

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"Mrs Hodge had her mobile phone in her hand as she left the car but was not using it," the statement added.

With apologies to Shakespeare.. Methinks she doth protest too much!

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [583 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 7:38

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"Denies it, till is shown the footage and forced to accept."

Never apologise, never explain. Isn't that the mantra of 'successful' people these days?

posted by Hasis [36 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 8:30

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Don't ride so close to parked cars.

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posted by cavasta [202 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 10:25

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I'd prefer to see "shook hands and EXCHANGED DETAILS before he went on his way". A cyclist in shock after a fall may not notice injuries or bike damage straight away, or may dismiss something as harmless that turns out to be serious.

posted by bambergbike [84 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 10:42

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Quote:
"She acknowledges that the accident was completely her fault and that she should have been more careful, which she will be in future.

Its not a fucking accident as she was completely culpable. An accident is lots of various causes and effects coinciding that no one person has any control, or ability to change.

She was too dumb to look (or too distracted on her mobile, which is more probable seeing as she felt compelled to deny it) and so was directly responsible for its occurrence.

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posted by zanf [480 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 14:32

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As zanf said... accident no, incident yes.

posted by merckxissimo [59 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 16:06

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Lots of assumptions here. We dont know if they exchanged details or not, it states he was not injured it does not state he had his ribs burst or his head opened up.

This happens and yes she was careless but as someone else pointed out the offence is the opening of the door

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1986/1078/regulation/105/made

and it does not matter one toot if she was on her phone or not, its the opening of the door to endanger or hurt someone.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2708 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 16:31

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Margaret Hodge spent years denying that Islington's social services were riddled with paedophiles and instead attacked the victims' integrity until her role in the massive cover-up was exposed. She was later appointed by Blair to be Minister of State for Children.

So this cyclist is lucky he got away without being raped, never mind being knocked off his bike.

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

posted by Sanderville [212 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 17:00

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She should be strung up!!! It's the only language these people understand innit? Big Grin

The most important of all the human senses? The sense of perspective. Wink

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1058 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 23:32

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