Security Minister Tom Tugendhat banned for six months for using mobile phone while driving

17 November 2022, 14:45

Tom Tugendhat leaving Westminster magistrates court today
Tom Tugendhat leaving Westminster magistrates court today. Picture: Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

Security minister Tom Tugendhat has been fined £1000 and banned from driving for six months after being caught using his mobile phone at the wheel.

The Conservative MP, 49, appeared before Westminster magistrates for the incident on April 14 this year while driving his Skoda on Wandsworth High Street.

District Judge Jack McGarva told him: “I would expect you to set a good example to the rest of us in terms of your conduct.”

Tugendhat, who was permitted to sit in front of the dock, stood with his hands behind his back as he was sentenced to a six-month ban, in a hearing which lasted less than ten minutes.

He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, and address in Clapham, and to thank the judge as the hearing ended.

Tom Tugendhat leaving Westminster magistates court after receiving a driving ban
Tom Tugendhat leaving Westminster magistates court after receiving a driving ban. Picture: Alamy

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His lawyer Paul Morris said: “He accepts the prosecution facts as they are, he cooperated fully with the police at the scene, and he entered a guilty plea at the very earliest opportunity, and today maintains that guilty plea."

Tugendhat – appointed Security Minister by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak - had earlier written to the court to admit the offence, saying: “I was holding my phone – not using it."

Tugendhat was caught out when a police officer spotting him breaking the law on Wandsworth High Street on April 14.

PC Joseph Robson said: “I stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver. I confirmed they weren’t making emergency contact to the 999 service. I pointed out the offence where they confirmed the communication was using maps.”

The officer added that Tugendhat “made no comment” after being given a police caution.

Tugendhat already had six points on his licence, for speeding offences which were sentenced in September 2021 and April 2020.

The judge imposed a further six points for the latest offence, plus the minimum six month ban for an offender who has reached 12 points on their licence.

Tugendhat was also ordered to pay a £1,000 fine plus £210 in costs and fees.