Transport minister apologises after "offensive" social media postings by Conservative Party HQ

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston slammed her own party yesterday for "demonising cyclists." A tweet and a Facebook posting showing cyclists riding on a protected cycleway said "we're cracking down on dangerous cycling." Olympian Chris Boardman said he thought the comment was a "bad joke" from a "parody account" and added that "with [a] dead mother, crushed to death by a car ... it makes me feel genuinely sick."

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There were hundreds of other complaints about the social media postings and the Conservative Party deleted them a few hours after posting.

Transport minister Jesse Norman said: "I am delighted to say this tweet has now been taken down. It did not reflect ... the very careful work the Government has done to improve road safety for all users, including cyclists. On behalf of all involved, I would like to apologise."

The social media postings were meant to be promoting new measures introduced on Sunday to improve road safety, including beefing up Highway Code advice on how to overtake cyclists, but the Conservative party HQ followed the lead set by the mainstream media and focused on the proposal to create a new offence of causing death by dangerous cycling.

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