A CRAZED arsonist targeting David Cameron burned down the cottage next door with a Molotov cocktail.
The attacker is thought to have travelled almost 60 miles to the Cotswolds village where the former Prime Minister lives.
But he hurled his firebomb into the wrong property, a chocolate box cottage yards away from Mr Cameron’s home.
A blaze ripped through the home, which is owned by an 81-year-old woman who had moved out last year to live with relatives.
The property was gutted and workmen were forced to demolish it after it was deemed structurally unsafe.
Mr Cameron’s £1.3million five-bedroom Victorian home is less than 50 yards away and by far the nearest property.
The blaze started at 10.30pm on Monday and spread within seconds after the suspect hurled the crude device through a window.
But the arsonist mistook the address for the one where Mr Cameron lives with wife Samantha, 48, and their three children.
A 33-year-old man from Wellingborough, Northants, was arrested on suspicion of arson. He was released under investigation but detained under the Mental Health Act.
Mr Cameron, 53, has lifelong personal protection from the Met Police Security Operations command.
PETROL BOMB ATTACK
A review is being carried out by police into his security as a routine measure following the blaze, although it is understood it is being treated as a one-off incident.
Mr Cameron offered firefighters cups of tea and assessed the damage to the cottage, while wearing his slippers.
Mr Cameron told The Sun: “It’s terrible. They’ve had a fire engine here for the last couple of days.
“I’ve heard a man has been arrested but I can’t say anything.
“I was not home on Monday night when it happened, I came down as soon as I heard.
“There was a woman who lived there but she moved out about a year ago, a lovely old lady.
“Thankfully, the homeowner is living with relatives but she is very shaken up.
“It is a huge relief that it was empty and no one was hurt.
“This is now being pursued by the police and so it wouldn’t be right to comment any further.”
Thames Valley Police confirmed the arrest although the Metropolitan Police said: “We are not prepared to discuss matters of security.”
But former Scotland Yard commander John O’Connor said: “This arson attack reinforces the need for the lifelong protection of Prime Ministers, whether they like the intrusion or not.
“Sadly, the risk is always there because of the vast number of people who have opposed their views while they were in office.
“Some of those people will be extremists and a threat to their safety.
“There is no doubt that members of the Royal Family are less vulnerable than former senior politicians like Mr Cameron.
“When a Government passes legislation there will be some people who take objection. It can come from terrorist groups or lone individuals, perhaps with mental issues. The threat cannot be ignored.”
It's terrible. I've heard a man has been arrested
Thames Valley Police said they were called to the village following a fire just after 10.40pm on Monday.
A spokesman said: “Nobody was injured in the incident and a 33-year-old man from Wellingborough was arrested at the scene on suspicion of arson. He was released under investigation, but detained under the Mental Health Act.”
Mr Cameron, who was Prime Minister between 2010 and 2016, and his wife have owned the sprawling home since 2001.
The couple bought it for £650,000 when he became Tory MP for Witney.
But Mrs Cameron once told Harper’s Bazaar: “To be honest, the house is slightly falling down. The windows are rotting, the roof needs replacing, but it’s lovely and it’s where we brought each of our children home from the hospital. It’s our family nest.”
In the garden, it has a £25,000 insulated shepherd’s hut bought as a writer’s retreat for the former PM as he worked on his autobiography.
Mr Cameron and his family divide their time between the Oxfordshire property and their home in Chiswick, West London.
They also have a £2million holiday retreat in the Cornish village of Trebetherick.
When he became PM in 2010, Mr Cameron was said to have been disgruntled over his permanent police guard and, at first, tried to shrug off his guards.
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