February 8, 2023

London: British police have fined Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for failing to wear a seatbelt while filming a social media clip in the backseat of a moving car, a potentially embarrassing blow as he tries to revive his party’s fortunes.

Sunak, who has previously apologized for a “brief misjudgment,” uploaded the video to Instagram during a trip to north-west England. It was widely shared by other users who noticed that he had not buckled up.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits the Northern School of Art, in Hartlepool, England, on Thursday.Credit:access point

Local police had said later that day they would investigate and confirmed late on Friday (Saturday AEDT) that a crime had taken place.

It is the second sanction that Sunak receives from the police. Last year he was found to have breached COVID-19 lockdown rules, along with then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Sunak becomes the second prime minister after Johnson to break the law in such a way.

Charging

The fine is a further distraction for Sunak, whose Conservative Party trails far behind the opposition Labor Party in opinion polls ahead of elections scheduled for January 2025 at the latest.

“The Prime Minister fully accepts that this was a mistake and has apologized. He will, of course, comply with the penalty set,” a spokesman for Sunak’s Downing Street office said in a statement.

Lancashire County Police in northern England said in a statement that a 42-year-old man from London had received a penalty notice.

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