Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 18:30 UK

Georgian police quiz mayor's aide

By Tim Donovan
BBC News, London

Kulveer Ranger
Mr Ranger was involved in a charity ride for a hospice

A senior aide to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been questioned by police in Georgia after being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Kulveer Ranger, the transport adviser, collided with a man during a London to Tbilisi charity ride in August.

He also had his passport removed for a fortnight until, after negotiations with officials in London, the Georgian authorities let him leave the country.

The pedestrian is thought to have suffered a broken leg.

Mr Ranger, 34, was in a small group of motorcyclists taking part last month in the ride to raise money for the Shooting Star Children's Hospice in London.

They left London on 15 August, riding through France, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia and Turkey before arriving in Georgia eight days later.

Badly bruised

Mr Ranger told the BBC that the man had stepped out in front of him.

He said: "I tried everything I could to avoid him, but I clipped him and I came off the bike.

"I was worried because I was lying on the wrong side of the road and the danger was of being hit by a lorry.

"I managed to roll over to the side of the road."

He continued: "I was badly bruised and sore for a couple of weeks. But it could have been much worse.


Witnesses saw what happened, and I hadn't been drinking or speeding

Kulveer Ranger

"I saw the man later and he was ok. We shook hands."

Boris Johnson's officials tried in vain to get the Georgian authorities to speed things up so his passport could be returned and he could leave the country.

Former Transport Minister Steve Norris - now on the board of Transport for London - also made representations.

Mr Ranger said the authorities accepted he was not to blame, but it took a long time to process the paperwork on the case.

"It was an open and shut case," he said. "Witnesses saw what happened, and I hadn't been drinking or speeding."

Mr Ranger has since resumed his duties at City Hall.

He added: "To be honest, it was an interesting experience. Not one you would want to repeat, but it added to the adventure.

"To be honest, what was just as alarming was an earthquake one night. 6.6 on the Richter scale."

Kulveer Ranger, who is in charge of the mayor's cycling strategy, is regarded as a rising star in the Conservative ranks, and is on the party's A-list of candidates deemed most suitable to become an MP.



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