Former minister arrested after car hits boy, 3

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The Independent Online

The former Conservative minister Sir Nicholas Scott was arrested after leaving the scene of a car accident which involved a three-year-old boy, it emerged last night.

Police were called to Sydney Street, in Chelsea, west London, at about 9.30pm on Thursday. Sir Nicholas, an MP for 29 years and a JP, was pulling away from the kerb in a Volvo when he was involved in a collision with a car in front, which then moved backwards, hitting a man and a three- year-old boy, who are both French.

The boy was taken to Westminster and Chelsea Hospital. An ambulance spokes- man said: "The boy was given the once-over by the ambulance crew and then taken to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. He displayed the usual symptoms of shock."

A hospital spokesman confirmed a three-year-old boy arrived at the accident and emergency unit for treatment with his parents. He said: "He was not admitted and went home. He had no apparent injuries."

Scotland Yard would not confirm last night that the MP, who was at the centre of the furore over government tactics in blocking a Private Member's Bill on the disabled, was involved.

A spokeswoman said: "A man tried to drive a parked Volvo into the road from the kerb when it was in collision with another motor vehicle in front. This motor vehicle moved backwards injuring a man and a three-year-old child. The [Volvo] driver then got out of his car and left the scene on foot."

Sir Nicholas was arrested at a "nearby address" and was interviewed at a nearby police station. He was then released on police bail to appear next month. He was breathalysed but the result was not revealed.

A waitress at the Sydney Street Cafe said the Volvo driver "was attempting to reverse but lurched forward instead". The child was in a baby-stroller and the man was with a woman who looked agitated after the incident.

There was no sign of Sir Nicholas last night at his home in Battersea, south London. He was interviewed by police in 1990 after a row with his neighbours over parking, when it was alleged he had caused criminal damage to cars parked outside his house. He was not prosecuted.

A spokesman for Conservative Central Office said it knew nothing of the incident and added: "We would regard something like this as a personal matter."