Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says sorry for seatbelt slip-up on social media video during Blackpool visit

Rishi Sunak has apologised for failing to wear a seatbelt as he filmed a social media clip in the back of a moving car in Blackpool.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister had made a “brief error of judgment” by removing his seatbelt as he visited Lancashire on Thursday (January 19).

The video – to promote the latest round of “levelling up” spending – was posted on Mr Sunak’s Instagram account.

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A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and apologises”.

Rishi Sunak has apologised for failing to wear a seatbelt as he filmed a social media clip in the back of a moving car in Blackpool

“The Prime Minister believes everyone should wear a seatbelt,” the spokesman added.

“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.”

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In the video, Mr Sunak can be seen addressing the camera while the car travels through Blackpool.

Passengers caught failing to wear a seatbelt when one is available, unless covered by a valid exemption, can be given an on-the-spot £100 fine.

The fine can increase to £500 if the case goes to court.

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The Government has considered toughening seatbelt rules to ensure drivers not wearing them could receive penalty points.

Exemptions include having a doctor's certificate for a medical reason, or being in a vehicle used for a police, fire and rescue service.

But Downing Street did not believe there was an exception for travelling in a ministerial car.

Lancashire Constabulary referred queries to the Metropolitan Police, which is yet to respond.

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Recent Department for Transport figures suggested around 30% of people killed in cars on Britain’s roads in 2021 were unrestrained.

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: "It seems like the PM is getting too used to flying around in private jets that he's forgotten to wear a seatbelt in a car."

The AA warned of the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt.

“No matter who you are, it is important to wear your seatbelt when in the car,” an AA spokesman said.

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The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said “everyone should take seatbelt laws seriously – whoever and wherever they are”.