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Public figures in the firing line

By Lewis Hannam

Updated on 06 March 2009

Lord Mandelson joins a long list of public figures to bear the brunt of a messy protest. We look back at a choice selection.

The business secretary was ambushed this morning by Leila Deen, from the Plane Stupid campaign group.

Ms Deen threw a mixture of custard and pea soup over the cabinet minister, in protest to the planned extension of Heathrow Airport.

But Mandelson is not alone in having to send his suit to the dry-cleaners, some of the most powerful people in the world have been targeted by protesters armed with pies, eggs, powder or paint.

Featured in our videos:

Labour deputy prime minister, John Prescott, punching a protester who threw an egg at him during a visit to Rhyl in north Wales in 2001.

Brian Mawhinney being attacked by The Movement for Justice in 1995, when its protesters threw orange paint at the cabinet minister. Alan Duncan, his parliamentary assistant at the time, attempted to perform a citizen's arrest of the culprits.



EU Commission president Jacques Delors being attacked with custard pies by anti-Maastricht protestors while attending an election meeting in 1997.

Microsoft boss Bill Gates being 'flanned' in Belgium in 1998 by a man who threw a custard pie at him. The culprit was well-known pie thrower Noel Godin, renowned for throwing confectionary at celebrities during the Cannes Film Festival.

Frank Loy, the American envoy to the United Nations climate talks, being hit in the face with a cream pie by an environmental campaigner as he gave a press briefing in 2000.

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