Prime Minister fined for failing to wear seatbelt in social media video

The Prime Minister has been issued with a fixed penalty notice by police for failing to wear a seatbelt while filming a social media clip in the back of a moving car.

Rishi Sunak previously apologised for the “brief error of judgment” as he carried out a series of visits in the North of England on Thursday.

Mr Sunak was spotted not wearing his seatbelt in an Instagram video he filmed to promote levelling-up funding during a visit to Lancashire.

Rishi Sunak instagram story
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak not wearing his seatbelt whilst a passenger in a moving vehicle (rishisunakmp/Instagram/PA)

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 20th) issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of fixed penalty.”

It is Mr Sunak’s second fine, having paid a fixed penalty notice during the “partygate” scandal while chancellor.

Downing Street has so far declined to comment on the latest development.

Earlier, No 10 said Mr Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and apologises”.

A No 10 spokesman said “of course” the Prime Minister does not believe anyone is above the law, adding that he “believes it is important for people to wear their seatbelt”.

“It was an error of judgment, he removed it for a short period of time to film a clip, which you’ve seen, but he accepts that was a mistake,” the spokesman added.

There are a few exemptions for failing to wear a belt, including when a car is being used for police, fire and rescue services and for certified medical issues.

Downing Street said it did not believe there is an exception for travelling in a ministerial car.