London mayor Boris Johnson caught in Malaysia Airlines mid-air drama

London Mayor Boris Johnson riding the monorail during an official visit to Kuala Lumpur on Dec 1, 2014. On his way home after visiting Malaysia, he was caught up in a mid-air drama when he tried to calm a passenger who became abusive and violent on t
London Mayor Boris Johnson riding the monorail during an official visit to Kuala Lumpur on Dec 1, 2014. On his way home after visiting Malaysia, he was caught up in a mid-air drama when he tried to calm a passenger who became abusive and violent on the Malaysia Airlines flight. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
This picture of Malaysia Airlines staff restraining an abusive passenger was captured by a member of London mayor Boris Johnson’s entourage, his technical ambassador Eileen Burbidge, who tweeted the image of the crew tackling the man. -- PHOTO: EIL
This picture of Malaysia Airlines staff restraining an abusive passenger was captured by a member of London mayor Boris Johnson’s entourage, his technical ambassador Eileen Burbidge, who tweeted the image of the crew tackling the man. -- PHOTO: EILEEN BURBIDGE/TWITTER

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - London Mayor Boris Johnson, on his way home after visiting Malaysia, was caught up in a mid-air drama when he tried to calm a passenger who became abusive and violent on the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight to London, according to The Telegraph.

It said a member of his delegation described the unnamed man as "off his head" before he was restrained by cabin crew and arrested on arrival at Heathrow Airport.

The mayor was returning from a tour of Asia, including Singapore, on the MAS flight when the man, thought to have been drinking, began singing and shouting abuse.

Fellow passengers and the crew attempted to calm him, and were initially successful but he became unruly again and was restrained.

A flight steward was said to have sustained a cut cheek in the melee.

The mayor's official spokesman said: "The mayor along with a number of other passengers and members of the cabin crew did make several attempts to calm the gentleman concerned but to no avail.

"We understand the gentlemen was restrained by the crew and detained by police on arrival at Heathrow."

Johnson was on a 13-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur and is said to have been disturbed by shouting and singing. He moved to sit by the abusive passenger and attempted to calm him.

He warned the man that he might have to be restrained if he did not settle down. Eventually five male crew members intervened and pinned him down.

Police boarded the plane when it landed and led the man off the aircraft before the rest of the passengers were allowed to disembark.

A photograph of the mid-air drama was captured by the same member of Johnson's entourage, his technical ambassador Eileen Burbidge, who tweeted the image of the crew tackling the man.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said officers responded to reports of a disruptive passenger onboard a flight at Heathrow Airport.

Scotland Yard said David Morris, 43, of Wentworth Close, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Surrey was later charged with one count of assault by beating, one count of behaving in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner towards a member of the crew, and one count of being drunk in an aeroplane.

It is not the first time that the mayor has played Good Samaritan. In 2009, he intervened to rescue Franny Armstrong, a documentary maker, when he came across her being attacked in the street by what he described as a gang of "feral" young girls, including one wielding an iron bar.

And earlier this year, while on a campaign trip to Harrow, he and David Cameron stopped their car to help a young woman who had collapsed in the street.