Tory peer Lord Soames banned from driving for six months over latest speeding rap

Lord Soames (Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament)
Lord Soames (Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament)

Tory Party grandee Lord Soames of Fletching has been banned from driving for six months after admitting his latest incident of speeding.

The 74-year-old Baron, who is Winston Churchill’s grandson, was caught out by a speed camera in Twickenham as he drove a BMW towards London at 10.51am on August 12 last year.

The car was travelling at 47mph in a 40mph zone on the A316 Great Chertsey Road, court papers show, and Lord Soames has accepted he was behind the wheel.

In a private hearing at Lavender Hill magistrates court last Tuesday, Soames was handed three points on his licence and an automatic six-month driving ban due to “repeat offending”.

The Peer was also ordered to pay a £750 fine, £90 in costs, and a £300 victim surcharge.

Details of the repeat offending have been kept secret by the court, as the result of sentencing hearing was made public for the first time.

Lord Soames, a former Minister for the Armed Forces, was elevated to the House of Lords in October last year by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

A good friend of King Charles III, Lord Soames had served as the MP for Crawley and then Mid Sussex from 1983 until 2019.

He has a history of driving offences, including being handed a two-week ban and a £666 fine in 2012 after his third speeding offence in four years.

Nicholas Soames behind the wheel of his BMW (CPS)
Nicholas Soames behind the wheel of his BMW (CPS)

Asked about that disqualification, Lord Soames was reported as saying: “It won’t affect me.”

In 2008, the then-MP was banned from driving for two months after being pictured driving a quad bike at a New Year’s Day hunt without insurance.

At the time of that conviction, a court heard the politician had three previous endorsements on his licence for motoring offences.

Contacted by the Evening Standard about his latest brush with the law, Lord Soames refused to discuss the details.

“I am not discussing with you anything to do with the court, I will appear before the court and they will dispose of it as they see fit”, he said.

His case made two appearances before the court in the Single Justice Procedure, on January 13 and February 21. Both hearings were in front of a single magistrate, with members of the media and public banned from attending.

He accepted being the driver and entered a guilty plea in writing, after evidence of the offence was sent by the Metropolitan Police to his £4.4 million home in Pimlico.

Soames is among a series of top Tories to have recent difficulties with the law.

Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt was fined £568 for speeding earlier this month, Security minister Tom Tugendhat is currently serving a six-month ban after he was caught using his phone at the wheel, and Immigration minister Robert Jenrick could receive a ban himself after he was recorded speeding along the M1.