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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Hypocrisy claim over Cameron bike
David Cameron cycles from his home to work
Mr Cameron says he cannot carry document boxes on his bike
Conservative leader David Cameron has been attacked over his green agenda because he cycles to work - but then has his car follow with his briefcase.

Conservative officials say they have never made a secret of the arrangement.

They say Mr Cameron likes cycling but just cannot carry all his boxes of documents to work. They also stress he has opted for a less gas-guzzling car.

Labour's Stephen Hepburn told the Daily Mirror it was "hypocrisy" showed he was "conning people about the environment".


The environment has been high on the Tory agenda ahead of next week's local elections, with the party using the slogan "vote blue, go green".

Mr Cameron has been much-photographed cycling to Parliament on his mountain bike and plans to install a wind turbine in his home.

He has also said people need to walk or cycle on shorter journeys if they are serious about tackling climate change. But the Daily Mirror newspaper has published photographs of the MP's driver taking his shoes and briefcase in a car following him to work.

Steven Hounsham, from campaign group Transport 2000, said: "It's unbelievable. If there's a good reason for making a car journey to transport shoes, a case and a shirt, then I'd like to hear it."

Motor change

A spokeswoman for the Tory leader was relaxed about people knowing about Mr Cameron's car following his bike.

"We've never made any secret of it," she said. "David has always enjoyed cycling and if he could carry all of the boxes of documents for work on his bike, then he would.

"But he has changed his car for one that has lower carbon emissions and has also made other personal changes to help the environment, such as making his new home more energy-efficient and changing his electricity supply to renewable energy."

Mr Cameron has swapped his government-provided Vauxhall Omega - with emissions of 276g per kilometre - for a commercially-leased Lexus with a hybrid engine giving off 186g.

But critics say he should have taken a Toyota Prius, which emits 104g per kilometre.

Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Chris Huhne said Mr Cameron's behaviour made a nonsense of his commitment to cycling as the greenest way to get to work.

"If everyone with green leanings now needs a shoe chauffeur the environment will be ruined," he said.

"As a matter of urgency, I will personally buy and deliver to Mr Cameron a pannier for him to put over his back wheels so that he can cycle to work while leaving his shoe chauffeur at home."

Mr Cameron is focusing on local issues in his constituency on Friday. Shadow foreign secretary William Hague and shadow chancellor George Osborne are out on the national campaign trail.

Mr Hague is visiting a regeneration project in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire while Mr Osborne is campaigning in Birmingham.

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