Sunak’s “unintentional” seatbelt failure isn’t resignation, says Raab

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ishi Sunak is not considering his position after being fined for not wearing a seat belt in a moving car, the deputy prime minister has indicated.

Dominic Raab said that by admitting he made an “unintentional mistake”, the prime minister has not compromised his promise of a premiership of “integrity”.

Mr Sunak has come under fire after being handed a second police fine, with critics accusing him of showing “the same disregard for the rules” as his predecessor in No. 10, Boris Johnson.

Given the circumstances, I don’t think it’s anything that would result in his firing

Lancashire Constabulary announced on Friday it was fining the prime minister after he was spotted not wearing his seatbelt in an Instagram video filmed to promote funding leveling while visiting Lancashire a day earlier.

Downing Street said Mr Sunak “fully accepts that this was a mistake and has apologised” and will “of course” pay the fine.

Deputy Prime Minister Raab told Sky News on Saturday: “Of course it shouldn’t have happened.

“But I think with these things people mostly expect the person involved, whoever it is, to raise their hand, be honest about it, accept the mistake, pay the fine.

“And I think, look, given the circumstances, I don’t think it’s something that would result in his firing.”

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Asked about Labour’s claim that the episode made the Prime Minister a “laughing stock”, Mr Raab said: “I think you have someone who has a very busy job – as many people do, so it’s no excuse – who has a made an unintentional mistake. . He raised his hand, he apologized.”

The Justice Minister, who is under investigation for bullying allegations, said it was “completely appropriate” for police to investigate the seatbelt blunder, adding: “We would not consider the role of the police in this. doubt.”

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner accused Mr Sunak of showing a “lack of judgement” after receiving his second firm fine in less than a year.

He previously paid one as chancellor along with Mr Johnson amid the partygate scandal for attending a rally to break the lockdown to mark the then prime minister’s birthday.

Mr Sunak is the second prime minister in history, after Mr Johnson, to receive a police fine while holding the top post.

Ms Rayner told UKTN Breakfast: “The fact that he has received two firm fines in nine months I think shows a lack of judgment on his behalf, especially as Chancellor and then as Prime Minister. And I think he should take this opportunity to emphasize that safety does matter in vehicles.”

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Lancashire Constabulary did not disclose how much Mr Sunak was paid, but fixed fines for seat belt breaches are usually £100, rising to £500 if taken to court.

Lancashire Police said: “You will be aware that video has been circulating on social media showing a person not wearing a seatbelt while sitting as a passenger in a moving car in Lancashire.

“Following investigation of this case, today we issued a conditional offer of a fixed sentence to a 42-year-old man from London.”

A penalty is a penalty for breaking the law where the recipient can pay a fixed amount to avoid a lawsuit.

A Labor spokesperson said: “Unlucky Rishi Sunak’s leveling photo has exploded in his face and turned him into a laughing stock.

“He started the week hoping that people would be grateful for a partial refund of the money that has been taken from them from the Tories for 13 years. But instead he got a combatant and another fine from the police.”

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak has shown the same disregard for rules as Boris Johnson, becoming the second prime minister ever to be fined by police.

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“From partygate to seatbelt gate, these Conservative politicians are simply fooling the British people.

“As they continue to behave as if it is one rule for them and another for everyone else, this fine is a reminder that the Conservatives are ultimately getting what they deserve.”

The fine capped off a tough week for Mr Sunak, who was criticized for using a jet for a series of domestic trips and faced allegations that leveling funding allocations were motivated by an attempt to boost support in southern Tory seats. strengthen.

He is also facing calls to sack Nadhim Zahawi as Tory party chairman following reports that he has paid a fine to HMRC as part of a multimillion-pound tax settlement.

In his first speech outside Downing Street, Mr Sunak pledged “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level”, after Mr Johnson was forced to leave in the wake of a series of scandals.

But the last occupant of No. 10 has been plagued with its own controversies from day one, from criticism of Suella Braverman’s reinstatement as Home Secretary just six days after she was forced to resign over a security breach, to the ongoing harassment investigation against Mr. Rab.

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