March 8, 2009 / 3:35 PM / 11 years ago

Activist arrested for Mandelson custard attack

Business Secretary Peter Mandelson arrives for the weekly Cabinet Meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London March 5, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

LONDON (Reuters) - An environmental activist who threw green custard at Business Secretary Peter Mandelson has been arrested and bailed, police said on Sunday.

Leila Deen, 29, was arrested on Saturday and bailed to return to a central London police station in April.

Deen, from environmental group Plane Stupid, threw a cup of the liquid over Mandelson as he arrived for a low-carbon industry summit in London on Friday.

She attacked Mandelson because of his support for a new third runway at Heathrow airport and over what she said was the government’s hypocritical stance on climate change.

The high-profile stunt has rekindled concerns over the level of security ministers should have.

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott said the matter should be investigated and had urged that Deen be arrested.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has also condemned the attack.

Asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday whether he was troubled by the security breach, Mandelson said: “It could have been something nastier. It did actually leave a slight sort of irritation on my face.”

“I was slightly surprised that she could just saunter off without being apprehended. It’s a bit surprising, but we do not live in a police state in Britain and thank goodness for it.”

Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Giles Elgood

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