Rishi Sunak faces police investigation after failing to wear seatbelt

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Rishi Sunak faces a police investigation today after he admitted not wearing a seatbelt while recording a video in his official car.

The Prime Minister has admitted an ‘error in judgement’ after a now-deleted Instagram clip showed him in the back seat of the vehicle with no restraint.

Lancashire Police said they were “investigating” the issue. Failure to wear a seat belt can be punished with a fine of up to £500 – although a fixed fine notice of £100 is more common.

The embarrassing developments – nine months after Mr Sunak received a penalty alongside Boris Johnson for breaking Covid rules – capped a miserable day for the Prime Minister.

He faced backlash for flying to Blackpool on a visit to promote ‘leveling up’ schemes, during which he suggested Tories calling for immediate tax cuts were “idiots”.

The spending announcements have also been criticized for being primarily aimed at London and the South East rather than the Red Wall.

Rishi Sunak took to the social media clip to promote his “Leveling Up” tour. But viewers were quick to notice that the PM did not appear to be wearing a seatbelt

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: ‘We are aware of the matter and will look into it.

A Downing Street spokesperson said Mr Sunak ‘fully admits it was a mistake and apologises’.

“The Prime Minister believes everyone should wear a seatbelt,” the spokesperson said.

“It was an error in judgement, he took it off for a short time to film a clip, which you saw, but he accepts it was a mistake.”

Mr Sunak was asked about not wearing his seatbelt as he left a broadcast interview, but did not respond.

There are a few exemptions to seat belt wearing rules, including when a car is used for police, fire and rescue services, and for certified medical conditions.

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

In the video, police motorcycles can be seen escorting the car as Mr Sunak addresses the camera.

The government has considered toughening the rules on seat belts to ensure that drivers who do not wear them could receive penalty points.

Recent figures from the Department for Transport suggest that around 30% of people killed in cars on UK roads in 2021 were not retained.

Mr Sunak flew to Blackpool yesterday morning before visiting Accrington and Morecambe, although it is unclear when during his trip he filmed the clip on social media.

At one point in his Instagram video, police on motorcycles can be seen through Mr Sunak’s passenger window.

The Prime Minister used the clip to encourage users to follow his progress on his trip to northern England as he stepped outside and saw Leveling Up in action.

During his visit to Morecambe, Mr Sunak defied Tory calls for tax cuts in the budget, suggesting only fools think the burden can fall quickly after Covid and the war in Ukraine.

Rishi Sunak gave a candid answer when asked about the potential for cuts soon

Rishi Sunak gave a candid answer when asked about the potential for cuts soon

The Prime Minister gave a blunt answer when asked about the potential for cuts soon – and also hit out at James Dyson after the billionaire launched a blunt attack on the government’s ‘short-sighted’ and ‘stupid’ policies .

Asked on a visit to Morecambe whether he will cut taxes, Mr Sunak said: “I’m a Tory, I want to cut your taxes… I wish I could do it tomorrow, quite frankly, but the reason for which we can’t is because of all the reasons you know.

“You are not idiots, you know what happened.

He said the pandemic and the war in Ukraine had left public finances “not where they needed to be”.

Mr Sunak said ‘it takes a bit of work to get there’ but he pledged to strengthen the economy so the NHS and schools can be funded, secure lower interest rates and get the economy under control ‘inflation.

“Believe me, that’s what I’m going to do for you this year, that’s what we’re going to do while I’m Prime Minister and if we do these things we can lower your taxes,” he said. he adds.

Mr Sunak also pointed to the ‘super deduction’ – which allows companies to invest large sums tax free – saying he would like to know from Sir James if another country offered something similar.

Mr Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have struggled to generate revenue since transferring from Downing Street last October, insisting their priority is to stabilize public finances following the disastrous collapse of Liz Truss.

However, the Conservative benches are concerned that there appears to be no prospect of tax cuts in the March budget.

MailOnline understands there is instead Cabinet pressure for Mr Hunt to lighten the burden on Britons by the autumn, fearing this will be the only ‘narrow path’ for the Tories to win the next election.

Asked if Mr Sunak viewed people who wanted tax cuts as ‘idiots’, a Downing Street spokesman said: ‘He didn’t call anyone an idiot and he -even set out its ambitions to reduce the tax burden over time.”

“He said the worst thing he can do is make promises he can’t keep and burden a country with more debt.

“And he said again that his overall ambition is to cut taxes. But that has to be when we have economic stability and inflation comes down.

The tax burden has risen sharply in recent years, alarming conservatives

The tax burden has risen sharply in recent years, alarming conservatives