Police 'looking into' video of Rishi Sunak not wearing seatbelt in moving car

19 January 2023, 18:07 | Updated: 20 January 2023, 09:48

Rishi Sunak said sorry for taking his seatbelt off during a video recording
Rishi Sunak said sorry for taking his seatbelt off during a video recording. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Police are "looking into" a video of Rishi Sunak not wearing a seatbelt in the back of a moving car.

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The Prime Minister said sorry for taking off his seatbelt during the car ride to film the clip, with his spokesman saying it was a "brief error of judgement" and he "fully accepts this was a mistake".

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said on Thursday: "We are aware of the matter and we will be looking into it."

Mr Sunak recorded a clip during his visit to Lancashire on Thursday, as he promoted the new tranche of levelling up money aimed at projects that will benefit communities across the country.

But anger at Mr Sunak's unsafe decision to take off his seatbelt – something that can lead to a fine of up to £500 - forced his spokesman to issue the apology.

"The Prime Minister believes everyone should wear a seatbelt," the spokesman said.

"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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Exceptions to wearing a seatbelt are limited to instances like emergency service use or for medical problems.

Downing Street said it did not believe there was an exception in this case.

The Government has considered toughening the law up so that motorists who don't use seatbelts get penalty points, while official statistics show some 30% of people killed in vehicles on the road were not wearing one.

"Rishi Sunak doesn't know how to manage a seatbelt, his debit card, a train service, the economy, this country," a spokeswoman for Labour said.

"This list is growing every day, and it's making for endless painful viewing."

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

It is the latest transport dispute for Mr Sunak, who was criticised for taking a jet to the North West instead of the train.