UK PM Sunak gets fined by police for failing to wear seat belt

Sunak filmed a video in the back seat of his car while travelling in the north of England, without wearing a seat belt.

 British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak exiting 10 Downing Street on December 14, 2022.  (photo credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS)
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak exiting 10 Downing Street on December 14, 2022.
(photo credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/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.

Sunak's second penalty

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.

 British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak listens as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses his cabinet on the day of the weekly cabinet meeting in Downing Street, London, Britain June 7, 2022. (credit: LEON NEAL/POOL VIA REUTERS) British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak listens as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses his cabinet on the day of the weekly cabinet meeting in Downing Street, London, Britain June 7, 2022. (credit: LEON NEAL/POOL VIA REUTERS)

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

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