London mayor shows chivalry not dead in bike rescue

Wed Nov 4, 2009 10:12am EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - London Mayor Boris Johnson rescued a woman attacked by a group of girls wielding a metal bar after answering her plea for help during an evening bicycle ride, a spokeswoman for his office said on Wednesday.

Documentary filmmaker Franny Armstrong was confronted by a group of young teenage girls as she was walking in North London on Monday night, media reported.

"I was texting on my phone so didn't notice the girls until they pushed me against the car," the Guardian newspaper quoted Armstrong as saying. "I saw that one of them had an iron bar in her hand. It was more than a meter long."

"Then along came a cyclist. And I thought, 'Good, he's a big bloke,' and shouted, 'Can you help me please?," The Guardian reported.

"I said, 'That's the mayor of London!' and they ran off," Armstrong told the Guardian. "They must have thought they were going to get in trouble. One dropped the bar, so Boris picked it up and cycled after them."

Johnson, a Conservative who read classics at Oxford and was elected mayor in 2008, then walked Armstrong home.

She said that although she had voted for his Labour opponent Ken Livingstone in last year's election, Johnson might be the tougher of the two if you ever found yourself in trouble down a dark alleyway.

"He was my knight on a shining bicycle."

(Reporting by Catherine Bosley; Editing by Paul Casciato))

<p>Mayor of London Boris Johnson gestures during his keynote address during the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, northern England, October 5, 2009. REUTERS/Phil Noble</p>