British PM fined for not wearing seatbelt in car video

British PM fined for not wearing seatbelt in car video

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — British police on Friday fined Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for failing to wear a seatbelt in a moving car while filming a social media video.

Lancashire Police said in a Twitter statement not directly naming Sunak: “We have today issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of a fixed penalty.”

A fixed penalty means Sunak can pay a fine to avoid a court hearing.

Downing Street said in a statement that Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised”.

“He will, of course, comply with the fixed penalty,” it said.

The BBC reported that the fine for not wearing a seat belt as a car passenger would be £100 ($124). If the case went to court, Sunak could pay £500.

In Thursday’s video, produced for distribution on Sunak’s social media channels, the beltless Conservative leader speaks from the back seat of a moving car about his policies for boosting growth during a trip to Lancashire in England’s north.

Sunak apologised for an “error of judgement” soon after the video came out on Thursday, according to Downing Street, and it has been removed from Instagram.

Sunak’s transportation habits were already a talking point in the United Kingdom.

His political rivals have taken aim at his use of a private jet to make multiple short flights in recent days.

This is not the first time Sunak has been slapped with a police fine.

He was fined while serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer for attending a Downing Street party in June 2020 that violated the government’s rules on social distancing.


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