Rishi Sunak issued a Fixed Penalty Notice by Lancashire Police for not wearing seatbelt in Blackpool car video

Rishi Sunak has been issued a Fixed Penalty Notice by Lancashire Police for not wearing a seatbelt whilst travelling in Blackpool.

What did Sunak do?

A video has been circulating on social media in which the Prime Minister can be seen not wearing a seatbelt in the back of a moving car in Blackpool.

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The social media clip, which hoped to promote the latest round of “levelling up” spending, was filmed on Thursday (January 19) and then posted on Sunak’s Instagram account.

Rishi Sunak has received a Fixed Penalty Notice after failing to wear a seatbelt as he filmed a social media clip in the back of a moving car in Blackpool.

In the video, a seatbeltless Sunak can be seen addressing the camera while the car travels through the seaside town.

What have police said?

In a statement released this evening, 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.”

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What is a ‘conditional offer of fixed penalty’?

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A conditional offer of fixed penalty is better known as a Fixed Penalty Notice. It means that the recipient can either accept guilt, pay the fine, take the points and the matter will be closed, or they can reject the offer in which case they will be summonsed to appear in court.

How much could Sunak be fined?

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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What did the governement say?

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 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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Following the Fixed Penalty Notice, Rishi Sunak has become the first person ever to to have been found to have broken the law while both chancellor and prime minister. He had also been issued a fixed penalty notice in April 2022 for attending a birthday party for Boris Johnson on 19 June 2020.