UK PM Sunak fined for not wearing car seatbelt while filming social media clip

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been fined by police for failing to wear a seatbelt while he filmed a social media clip in the back seat of a moving car.

Sunak, who apologized for the "brief error of judgment," had uploaded the video to Instagram during a trip to north west England. It was widely shared by other users who noticed he had not buckled up.

Local police said they would investigate, and confirmed that an offence had taken place.

It is the second penalty Sunak has received from police within a year, after last April being found to have broken COVID-19 lockdown rules, along with then-prime minister Boris Johnson.

Sunak becomes the second prime minister after Johnson to have broken the law in such a manner.

Rishi Sunak said sorry for his
Rishi Sunak said sorry for his "error of judgement." /Scott Heppell/AFP

Rishi Sunak said sorry for his "error of judgement." /Scott Heppell/AFP

The fine represents an additional distraction for Sunak, whose Conservative Party trails far behind the opposition Labour Party in the opinion polls, ahead of an election due by January 2025 at the latest.

"The prime minister fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised. He will of course comply with the fixed penalty," a spokesman for Sunak said.

Police in the northern English county of Lancashire said in a statement that a 42-year-old man from London had been served a penalty notice.

Sunak's video comprised an update on the government's "leveling-up" plans to reduce regional disparities.

In the UK, a person can be fined up to $620 if they fail to wear a seatbelt, unless there is an exemption, such as for emergency services, in a taxi or when a driver is reversing.

Source(s): Reuters

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