David Cameron rides his bike
Andrew Parsons  /  AP file
Britain's Conservative Party leader David Cameron rides his bike before it was stolen. It has been returned thanks in part to the efforts of a supporter of the ruling Labor Party.
updated 7/28/2008 2:20:06 PM ET 2008-07-28T18:20:06

LONDON — British opposition leader David Cameron has been reunited with his stolen bicycle —thanks in large part to a supporter of the rival Labor Party.

The Conservative Party chief, often photographed riding his bike to work at the House of Commons, realized that it was stolen after he left it outside a supermarket near his west London home Wednesday evening, according to the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

The Mirror said it located the bicycle — dumped in a nearby street — with the help of 60-year-old resident Ernest Theophile, who enlisted neighborhood youths to trace it.

Supports other party
Theophile was identified by the paper as a staunch supporter of Britain's left-leaning Labour Party.

"You never want to see anyone have their bike nicked (stolen) — not even a Tory," he was quoted as saying.

The Conservative Party confirmed that the newspaper had returned the bike to Cameron.

Cameron, 41, is riding high in opinion polls, including one published Saturday giving his party a 22-percentage point lead over the Labour Party, which is led by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Traffic violations
Cameron uses the 4-mile bicycle commute from his home in trendy Notting Hill to Parliament to highlight his party's commitment to green issues. But political opponents scoffed when it emerged Cameron had an official car ferry his paperwork to his office.

Cameron steered himself into more embarrassment earlier this year when the Daily Mirror published a video showing him running a red light and cycling the wrong way down a one-way street. Cameron apologized for the traffic violations.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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