Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Sunak fined by police for a second time

In the past few minutes, Lancashire Police has confirmed that Rishi Sunak has received a fixed penalty notice for sitting in a moving car without wearing a seatbelt. The Prime Minister filmed a video while touring the north west on Thursday which showed he had taken his seatbelt off, and a statement from the constabulary this evening said:

You will be aware that a video has been circulating on social media showing an individual failing to wear a seatbelt while a passenger in a moving car in Lancashire.

After looking into this matter, we have today (Friday, January 20th) issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of fixed penalty.

This means Sunak has now received two police fines while in office, but thanks to his former boss Boris Johnson, who was fined for the same lockdown-busting birthday celebration as Sunak, he won’t be the first Prime Minister to be penalised for lawbreaking while in office. The public reaction to the lockdown breaches was much more visceral than it will be for a seatbelt offence, given the sacrifices people made in the early days of the pandemic. Both Sunak and Johnson were lucky at the time that the fine they were issued with was for a breach in which they were, as one of Johnson’s allies put it, ‘ambushed by cake’ rather than a debauched party. Mind you, Sunak was lucky in many ways that he was fined back then, as it might have been tempting otherwise for him to call for Johnson to resign over his FPN – and then today’s fine would have been rather more consequential. 

Sunak comes across as warm and spontaneous and interesting when he’s in groups of people or at the ‘PM connect’ sessions he has started doing recently.

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Isabel Hardman
Written by
Isabel Hardman
Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator and author of Why We Get the Wrong Politicians. She also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster.

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