Government minister Lord Hill mugged

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The Independent Online

A Government education minister was mugged as he walked home, it emerged today.

Lord Hill of Oareford had left the Department for Education in Westminster and was on his way to his home in Pimlico, central London, when he was attacked at around 8.30pm last night.

The peer, who is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, was left bruised by the mugging in St George's Square Mews in Westminster but did not need hospital treatment.

The two robbers stole his ministerial briefcase, which contained notes for two debates today.

Lord Hill, 50, who ran John Major's election campaign in 1992, was appointed a peer after this year's general election.

He is one of several ministers to have started walking and using public transport to and from work after David Cameron cut spending on ministerial limousines.

Lord Hill appeared in the Lords this afternoon, where fellow peers praised him for turning up despite his bruises.

Conservative Baroness Perry of Southwark, opening a debate on education, thanked him on behalf of the House and expressed her sympathy for last night's events.

She said: "The minister has very bravely come to take part in our debate today despite having been mugged quite severely on the way home."

A Department for Education spokeswoman said Lord Hill did not suffer serious injuries in the attack.

"He was mugged last night near his home and police are investigating what happened," she said.

"He was warmly welcomed when he appeared earlier in the Lords to take part in the debate, and he is in the office and working today. I can confirm that he is absolutely fine."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "At this early stage, it is believed that the victim was attacked by two men before being robbed. Officers from Westminster are investigating and no arrests have been made."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Robberies Squad at Westminster on 020 7321 6880.