Detectives investigate potentially fatal sabotage of Labour MP’s car

John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw.
John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw.
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POLICE have been called in to investigate a suspected sabotage attempt on an MP’s car in which wheel nuts were removed from his vehicle as he worked at Parliament.

John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw, said he was lucky to survive after driving the Citroën car up the A1 to his constituency office in Worksop earlier this month.

It is understood Special Branch officers were called in to investigate the incident, which happened shortly after his wife Jo was sent a dead bird in the post.

One of Mr Mann’s constituents, Roger Dyas-Elliott, was convicted of sending Mrs Mann the blackbird in July, after she was elected to Worksop-based Bassetlaw Council.

Yesterday Mr Mann said he had decided to talk about the incident, which happened on August 7, to raise awareness of the problem for other motorists.

He said by the time he arrived in Worksop his wheel was “hanging off” and added: “The consequences of this madness do not bear thinking about. I and others could easily have been killed.”

All four locking wheel nuts from Mr Mann’s Citroën Xsara Picasso had been removed and the nuts on the front wheels loosened. But the plastic hub caps were replaced, meaning the problem could not be immediately detected, and leaving the MP, who drove almost 200 miles, risking his life unawares.

Mr Mann, a member of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, said he hoped the incident had simply been an attempted theft and not an attempt on his life and added it would not stop his “campaigning activities”.

Mike Carruthers, of Priory Motors in Worksop, the garage which maintains Mr Mann’s car, said he was shocked by what he found.

He added: “The police came to look at the car and asked us some questions, but you can get kits from any motoring store to remove locking wheel nuts for about 50p these days.”