Rishi Sunak In The Doghouse After TikTokker Exposes More Rule Breaking
Rishi Sunak with his wife Akshata Murthy, outside 10 Downing Street as they purchase a poppy collar for their dog Nova from the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in October.
Rishi Sunak’s family have been spoken to by police after letting their dog off the lead in London’s Hyde Park, the Met has said.
It comes after a video was shared on TikTok appearing to show the prime minister and his family allowing their pet dog to roam freely while in a Royal Park.
The video focuses on a notice board saying “Dogs must be kept on leads” before showing Sunak and what appears to be his wife putting the dog on a leash. It is unclear when the video was filmed.
It’s not Sunak’s first brush with the law. Earlier this year, he became only the second prime minister to be handed a fine after he filmed a video in a moving vehicle while failing to wear a seatbelt.
As part of the investigation into the parties in No 10 during the Covid lockdown, Sunak was handed a fixed-penalty notice, along with former prime minister Boris Johnson, for attending a birthday bash Johnson in the cabinet room in June 2020.
A Met spokesman said on Tuesday: “We are aware of a video showing a dog being walked off the lead in Hyde Park.
“An officer, who was present at the time, spoke to a woman and reminded her of the rules.
“The dog was put back on the lead.”
The police officer who spoke to the Sunaks is understood to be the prime minister’s personal protection officer.
Downing Street said it would not be commenting on the footage.
A spokesperson for the prime minister told reporters: “I’m not going to be commenting on the filming of the prime minister’s family and private individuals.
“You can see the video, it speaks for itself.”
Pressed on whether Sunak would be apologising for breaching the park’s rules, the spokesperson replied: “As I say, I’m not going to comment on the video which you’ve seen.”
The Sunaks have a labrador retriever called Nova which they adopted in June 2021, when the Conservative Party leader was serving as chancellor.
Sunak posted a picture of her as a puppy on Instagram on June 30 of that year, saying: “Meet Nova.”
The four-legged pet has been pictured outside No 10 for a Poppy Appeal photocall and is frequently snapped by the gang of press photographers waiting outside Downing Street as she is taken for a walk by Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty.
A spokeswoman for The Royal Parks said: “Dogs are welcome in all the Royal Parks, although there are some places where they are not allowed or should be kept on a lead.”
The police has said there would be no further involvement following the dog lead rule breach.