David Mellor could find it difficult to hail a London cab in the future, as the city’s cabbies consider banning him from travelling in their taxis.
The former Conservative cabinet minister was secretly recorded on Friday ranting at a cab driver after they rowed over which route to take. The LBC presenter told the driver that he was “smart-arsed little git” and a “sweaty, stupid little s**t”.
He listed off his career highlights, arguing that he knew more of London than the driver of 20 years.
“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?” he asked, in a secret recording obtained by The Sun.
“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.”
Mellor also threatened to bring his name into disrepute on his LBC radio show.
General secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union Mick Cash said it should come as “no surprise” that black cab members were deliberating banning the “Tory toff” from their cars, following his “outrageous, pompous and disgraceful tirade against one of their colleagues”.
“His sneering and snobbish verbal assault says it all about the elite that run this country and their attitude towards the working classes that they expect to transport them,” Cash told the Guardian.
“Taxi drivers have a tough enough job already, dealing with ill-conceived and damaging regulations handed down by the mayor Boris Johnson, confronting illegal touting and navigating around the congested streets of London, and at least the Mellor tirade has poured some light on the kind of aggravation our members experience day in and day out.”
He added that subjecting a taxi driver to a “volley of aggressive abuse” and threatening to name him negatively on LBC is “frankly disgusting” and has “distinct echoes of the Plebgate row” – a reference to Andrew Mitchell’s altercation with police officers in 2012, whom he allegedly called “plebs”, after they wouldn’t allow him to exit Downing Street through the main gate with his bicycle.
Mitchell denied using the word, but resigned shortly after, following the widespread “damaging publicity”.
However, it was later discovered that the police had not been honest with their version of events and the incident is now being discussed in court, as Mitchell sues The Sun over its story on the row.
Mellor has said he “regrets” the altercation with the taxi driver, but maintains that he was provoked. He is yet to apologise.
Simon Rush, president of the GMB union’s professional drivers branch, called for an apology.
“Whatever the reason for this loutish verbal attack on a working person by this politician, it is unacceptable behaviour, not only on the road but in any workplace,” said Rush. “This is not the first time we have seen arrogance and conceit from Mr Mellor. A public apology from Mr Mellor is in order.”Reuse content