Andrew Mitchell 'Plebgate' bike for sale


Andrew Mitchell on his bike

The bike that sparked the 'Plebgate' row has gone on sale. Andrew Mitchell, who was embroiled in a row when police officers refused to let him leave Downing Street via the main gate with his bike, has put the bike up for sale for charity.

But what will it fetch?

The row

The bike was at the centre of the Plebgate row in September last year, after former Chief Whip Mitchell is thought to have criticised police for their decision not to let him ride out of the gate.

He denies these claims, and says he never used the word 'pleb'. The matter is still under investigation. However, Mitchell recognises that the bike is now something of a celebrity - having featured in a number of headlines and front-page photographs.

In fact, it has become a bit of a liability for him, as tourists want to take photographs of it: it has even been targeted by thieves.

Now he has put it up for sale to raise money for Nyumbani UK, which helps HIV and AIDS affected children in Kenya.

The bike

You don't get a great deal of bike for your money. The bike itself is a Reflux Westminster, which is hardly cutting edge. It has 18 speeds, but is seven years old, and comes complete with a shopping basket on the front. According to BikeRadar, you would expect a similar model to go for about £200.

However, its history has attracted some attention. According to the listing it: "has been a regular commuter to and from the House of Commons over the years with numerous journeys to the Department for International Development & Number 10 Downing Street." It is apparently: "now looking for a good home out of the limelight for its retirement years."

So far it has attracted bids of £1,120 - from 3 bidders, which is a major sum for this kind of bike. It remains on sale until Thursday at 7pm, so there's still time for the price to climb higher.

It's doubtful whether it will reach the heady heights attained by other celebrity bikes, however. These include Lance Armstrong's butterfly-adorned bike designed by Damian Hirst, which sold at auction for $500,000 to raise money for the Live Strong charity. Although what that bike might fetch now is another question entirely.

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