MP Vera Baird poo-poos row
Dec 19 2009 The Journal
A GOVERNMENT minister yesterday admitted rowing with a train passenger who complained after the MP’s dog fouled a railway platform.
Solicitor General Vera Baird was embroiled in a confrontation at King’s Cross railway station in central London.
The Redcar MP said her new puppy was unwell and made a mess on a platform which she was unable to clear up.
Mrs Baird, a well-known dog lover whose pet won the annual Westminster Dog of the Year competition in 2004, said she asked cleaning staff for help.
But a mother with her young child confronted the senior politician over the mess and an angry row ensued.
British Transport Police (BTP) were called to the scene by worried bystanders and a Community Support Officer spoke to both women.
An investigation took place, in which CCTV was examined and witness statements taken, to see if any offences had been committed.
It is an offence if an owner does not clean up after their dog has fouled public land. The fine is usually a £50 fixed penalty notice.
Sources said police also considered a public order offence of causing “harassment, alarm or distress”. This criminal offence carries a maximum fine of £1,000. But after a six-week investigation, in which senior officers were consulted, it was decided to take no further action.
Speaking yesterday, Mrs Baird, 58, played down the row and denied she said “don’t you know who I am?” to the Support Officer (PCSO).