Page last updated at 06:17 GMT, Sunday, 27 July 2008 07:17 UK

Cameron reunited with stolen bike

David Cameron
David Cameron's bike was stolen while he was buying salad in a supermarket

Conservative leader David Cameron has been reunited with his stolen bike after it was found dumped.

The bicycle disappeared outside a Tesco store in Notting Hill, west London, near Mr Cameron's home, on Wednesday.

The Sunday Mirror said it had used the contacts of "local community elder" Ernest Theophile, 60, to find the bike.

It was found in a nearby side street, minus its front wheel, but with Mr Cameron's helmet and lock still on it. He said it was great to have it back.

The Tory leader told the newspaper: "Thank you very much indeed. I'm very surprised to have it back, it's incredible. I never thought I'd see it again.

After a chat with some of the kids, I got their trust and respect and they told me where the bike was
Ernest Theophile

"It's priceless to me. I've done over a thousand miles on it and three sponsored bike rides of 250 miles each, so it's like an old friend. It's fantastic."

He added: "I'm surprised they didn't take the helmet - you'd think they would get something for that on eBay."

Mr Theophile, described by the paper as a Labour voter who runs a "social business" selling electric-powered bikes with the help of teenagers to stop them falling into a life of crime, said he was delighted to have helped.

"After a chat with some of the kids, I got their trust and respect and they told me where the bike was," he said.

"It just shows that the kids want to do good. It's just about the right communication with them."

Admitting he once reprimanded the Conservative leader for riding the wrong way down a one-way street, Mr Theophile added: "You never want to see anyone have their bike nicked - not even a Tory."

A Met Police spokesman said officers had been invited to examine the bike and "inquiries continue regarding the theft".

Mr Cameron's cycling has had a high profile since he was filmed riding to the House of Commons after becoming party leader.

In March, he was forced to apologise after the Daily Mirror photographed him on his bike ignoring red lights and going the wrong way up a one-way street.

Cameron's bike stolen as he shops
24 Jul 08 |  UK Politics
Cameron's parting shot at helmet
09 Jun 08 |  UK Politics
Cycling to the left or to right?
22 Jul 08 |  UK Politics

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