A former Cabinet Minister has said he regrets losing his temper, after being recorded launching an expletive-ridden tirade at a taxi driver following a visit to Buckingham Palace with his partner who had just been awarded a CBE.
David Mellor, a QC and former Conservative MP, called the cab driver a ‘sweaty, stupid little s**t’ during an argument about the route he wanted to travel on Friday.
Mr Mellor, who had accompanied his partner, VisitEngland chairman Viscountess Penelope Cobham, to an Investiture ceremony with the Prince of Wales, was heard in a mobile phone recording given to The Sun.
He told the paper the driver, who is not named but is described as a 38-year-old from south east London, had provoked him.
‘This man seriously provoked me and ruined a wonderful day,’ he said.
‘Once I had lost my temper, which I regret, he then secretly recorded me. I will leave the public to judge his actions.’
The paper reported that Mr Mellor accused the driver of not taking the quickest route to their destination in east London during rush hour.
During the audio Mr Mellor, who told the driver to ‘f*** off’, said he would name him and discuss the incident on his LBC radio show, which he co-presents with former London Mayor Ken Livingstone on Saturday mornings.
He also said: ‘You’ve been driving a cab for 10 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?’
In response to the recording journalist Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘This tape is outrageous. David Mellor, you’re a loathsome snob. I hope London’s black cab drivers now boycott David Mellor. Looks like he could do with a few walks anyway.’
Mick Cash, general secretary of transport union the RMT, said: ‘Driving a taxi in London is hard enough without having some pumped-up, pompous former Tory minister telling you how to do your job.
‘If you want an example of the political elite’s sheer contempt for the working class then this incident has it in shed-loads.’