Boris Johnson has been banned from riding his bike on public roads by police bodyguards who have deemed it to be too much of a security risk.
The Sun reports that Johnson was ordered to give up cycling when he became Foreign Secretary in July.
He challenged the decision, but a full Metropolitan Police protection branch review has now upheld it.
A friend of Johnson’s is quoted as saying:
“Boris loves cycling, he used to go everywhere on a bike while he was mayor, so being told he can no longer do this is a real irritation or him.
“He pushed back, but the coppers were adamant and he accepts he makes quite a recognisable target. He is now working on other ways to burn off all those big diplomatic dinners.”
This apparently includes jogging around St James’s Park wearing bright red shorts and a Team GB sweatshirt.
Rather than cycling to work – as he did while serving as Mayor of London – Johnson had up until recently been commuting to the Foreign Office via his official government limo from his family home in Islington.
However, this was taking more than an hour and the London Evening Standard reports that he is therefore moving into the Foreign Secretary’s official residence in Carlton Gardens. The newspaper quotes one Islington resident as saying: “I saw a lovely lady, doing a fist-pump and shouting ‘Yes! The bastard’s moving out!’ She had an Eastern European accent. I asked her who? Then I realised: Boris. She said ‘Yes!’”
Johnson’s time as a cyclist was certainly eventful. In 2013, he waded into the helmet debate saying he wouldn’t be bullied into wearing one; in 2014, his bike was destroyed when he rode it into a sizeable London pothole; and in 2015, he was forced to apologise after giving his wife a backie, claiming that he didn’t know the practice was illegal.