U.K. PM Rishi Sunak fined for not wearing seatbelt

Mr. Sunak was filming a video to promote his government's new Levelling Up Fund announcements

January 21, 2023 12:14 am | Updated 12:48 am IST - New Delhi

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appears to not be wearing his seat belt, in an unknown location in England in this screen grab taken from a social media video on January 19, 2023. Photo: Instagram/rishisunakmp via Reuters

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appears to not be wearing his seat belt, in an unknown location in England in this screen grab taken from a social media video on January 19, 2023. Photo: Instagram/rishisunakmp via Reuters

British police issued Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with a fine on Friday for travelling in the backseat of a car without wearing his seat belt while filming a social media clip, a potentially embarrassing blow as he tries to revive his party’s fortunes.

Sunak, who apologised on Thursday for what he called a “brief error of judgement”, filmed a video in the back seat of his car while travelling in the north of England, without wearing a seat belt.

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

The fine represents a new challenge 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 from Sunak’s Downing Street office said in a statement.

Police in the northern English county of Lancashire confirmed that they had issued a 42-year-old man from London with a penalty notice.

Mr. Sunak becomes the second prime minister after Johnson to have been fined in such a manner.

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