The MP accused of calling police plebs when he was denied main-gate access from Downing Street may eBay his rusty, basket-carrying commuter bike because he’s tired of the unwanted attention it attracts.
A friend of Andrew Mitchell, the Tory MP and former chief whip at the centre of the so-called plebgate affair, told press that the sturdy bike has become an attraction for tourists and a target for thieves, reported the Daily Telegraph.
Proceeds for the auction would go to charity, although the MP for Sutton Coldfield would buy another bike, “Because cycling is just about the only exercise he gets,” said the friend.
The Daily Telegraph reported that thieves had tried to steal the rusty-wheeled machine from the railings outside his house and also while at a restaurant.
If the bike does make it to online auction site eBay, prospective buyers will be bidding on a cycle with robust-looking front and rear panniers, a gripshift gear system and a highly distinctive wicker basket. The chain and rear wheel rim also appear to have corroded, which is no surprise as the bike is usually chained to railings outside his house.
The bike became a notorious accessory in the ‘Plebgate’ scandal in September 2012 when police denied Mitchell access out of Downing Street unless he got off and pushed it through the pedestrian gates. In the argument that followed he was alleged to have called the police on duty “f*cking plebs”, which the MP has always vigorously denied.
Currently the only Andrew Mitchell-related eBay items are t-shirts and Christmas cards with various pleb-related statements.