Boris Johnson in Minor Car Crash as Protester Halts Motorcade

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(Bloomberg) -- U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson was involved in a minor accident outside the gates of Parliament in London, when the car he was traveling in was hit from behind by another vehicle in his motorcade.

A spokesman for Johnson’s office confirmed that a video on social media showed the premier’s car with a dent in the back. The security convoy stopped briefly when a protester rushed in front, causing the vehicles to back-up and leading to the collision.

There were no reports of anyone being injured in the crash, the spokesman said.

“The Prime Minister is wholly unscathed,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said at the government’s daily press conference from Downing Street. “Everyone else escaped safely from that situation.”

The accident capped a difficult 24 hours for the British leader. He began the day still licking his political wounds from being forced into a sharp U-turn on providing free school meals to the poorest children after a campaign by a soccer star.

Johnson was taunted for his policy reversal in the House of Commons on Wednesday during his weekly question-and-answer session with MPs. He finished that session by mistakenly identifying a Liberal Democrat politician as a pro-independence Scottish nationalist.

The premier then went into what was set to be a tense meeting with members of the 1922 Committee, the group of rank-and-file Conservative politicians. Some are unhappy with the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and other recent controversies and are pushing Johnson to lift lockdown rules faster.

As the premier was on his way out of Parliament, his officials were briefing the media. They confirmed the prime minister has ordered his official government plane to be repainted at a cost of 900,000 pounds ($1.1 million). That immediately opened Johnson up to fresh allegations that he is wasting taxpayers’ money.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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