Defence Minister Anna Soubry breaks up fight between three men in Pret A Manger

The Tory MP proved she is not just prepared for political battles after breaking up a brawl in a branch of the cafe in Westminster

The Defence Minister Anna Soubry managed to break up a brawl between three men in a café by instructing a drunken man to "stop it", explaining that they often listen to women “because they don’t expect it from you”.

Ms Soubry, 57, stepped into the middle of a brawl between two coffee shop workers and a drunk man at a branch of Pret a Manger in Westminster, central London.

The veteran minister reportedly launched herself between the group before blocking the man from returning to the cafe.

"I just shouted at the drunk guy, 'stop it, stop it now', and put myself between them," she told The Sun.

"They often listen to women because they don't expect it from you.

"It was only afterwards that I thought, oh perhaps that wasn't the brightest thing to do."

Ms Soubry, who has described herself as a "tough old bird" in the past, has already broken gender boundaries after becoming the first female Defence Minister in Britain.

Before assuming the position in October, the outspoken minister claimed she initially believed the Prime Minister appointed her to the post of public health minister in 2012 because it is wrongly seen as the "soft bloody girly option".

She told Total Politics: "To be quite frank, when the PM said to me: 'I want you to do public health [...] Boss, you do know what you've just done? You've given public health to the girl again, except I'm not a girl, I'm a tough old bird.'"

In a recent interview with the Nottingham Post, the former barrister and television presenter Ms Soubry attributed the lack of women in politics as a consequence of not enough women coming forward and standing for a seat.

The outspoken minister also described her belief in not encouraging more women into politics through the use of all-women shortlists, arguing it was necessary to avoid this because women can only be respected if they succeed on the basis of merit alone.

She said: "If we get more people involved in politics then we will see more women in politics. And if we have more women in Parliament we will continue to make advances as women – so get stuck in!"

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said a man was arrested on suspicion of assault following the incident in Horseferry Road at 7am yesterday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee