David Mellor apologises for foul-mouthed tirade at taxi driver and pledges charity donation

David Mellor had an argument with the cabbie over driving directions

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The Independent Online

Former Conservative cabinet minister David Mellor apologised today after he launched a verbal attack on a taxi driver, which he received fierce backlash for after it was secretly recorded.

The ex-Queen's Counsel barrister said sorry while he was hosting LBC radio and admitted that the language he used towards the driver was not acceptable in their row about driving directions.

He said: "I can't think what possessed me to lose it with that cabbie the way I did. I had a case but I threw it away by the way I spoke and I'm really, really sorry about that."

"I especially want to apologise to you, our listeners, for trying your patience and risking my own credibility with you by speaking like I did. Anyway it's water for me at the next celebratory lunch, I've definitely made that decision."

Mellor was travelling from Marylebone High Street to St Katharine’s Dock with partner Lady Penelope Cobham on 21 November so she could receive an OBE at Buckingham Palace for her services to the tourism industry.

He started arguing with the cabbie over the quickest route and lists his career achievements in a bid to persuade him that he has better knowledge of London - despite black cab drivers having to undergo rigorous geographical training dubbed "The Knowledge".


"I’ve been in the Cabinet, I’m an award-winning broadcaster, I'm a Queen’s Counsel - you think that your experiences are anything compared to mine?" Mellor asked during the torrent of verbal abuse that was recorded by the driver and leaked to The Sun.

When the driver attempts to defend himself he is told to "shut up" and that he has "ruined" their day.

He is also reported to have called the taxi driver a "stupid, sweaty little s***" and a "little smart-arsed b******".

"And if you think you’re going to be sarky with me, get a better education before you try being sarcastic with me. So if you’re not going to say you’re sorry just shut the f**k up," he added.

After his on-air apology, Mellor claims to be "one of London taxis' best customers" for 40 years and mentions Steve McNamara, taxi driver and general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, as having come to his defence.

He then said that he will make a "substantial donation" to the LTDA's Christmas charity appeal for underprivileged children.