The Prime Minister has been issued with a “conditional offer of fixed penalty” by police after failing to wear a seatbelt in a moving car.
Lancashire Constabulary made the announcement on Friday after footage of Rishi Sunak promoting his levelling-up funding shot in the back of a moving car was uploaded to Instagram.
Sunak said he wanted to “build a future of optimism and pride in people’s lives” in the video after announcing ten projects in Scotland are to share almost £180m of UK Government cash.
However Sunak did not appear to be wearing a seatbelt in the footage.
Lancashire Police said: “You will be aware that a video has been circulating on social media showing an individual failing to wear a seat belt while a passenger in a moving car in Lancashire.
“After looking into this matter, we have today (Friday, January 20) issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of fixed penalty.”
A Downing Street spokesman said Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and apologises”.
“The Prime Minister believes everyone should wear a seatbelt,” the spokesman said.
“It was an error of judgement, he removed it for a short period of time to film a clip, which you’ve seen, but he accepts that was a mistake.”
Fines of up to £500 can be issued for failing to wear a seatbelt when one is available.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Rishi Sunak is a total liability.”
A Labour spokesperson added: “Hapless Rishi Sunak’s levelling-up photo op has blown up in his face and turned him into a laughing stock.
“He started the week hoping people would be grateful for a partial refund on the money that has been stripped from them over 13 years of the Tories. But instead he got a warring party and yet another fine from the police.”
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak has shown the same disregard for the rules as Boris Johnson, and now becomes the second ever Prime Minister to be fined by the police.
“From partygate to seatbelt gate, these Conservative politicians are just taking the British people for fools.
“Whilst they continue to behave as though it’s one rule for them and another for everyone else, this fine is a reminder that the Conservatives eventually get their comeuppance.”
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