Dominic Raab defends PM on seatbelt row


DOMINIC Raab has defended the Prime Minister after he received a fixed penalty notice for not wearing a seatbelt.

The Deputy Prime Minister said Rishi Sunak had not tried to pass the blame to anyone else, and suggested that he felt the public would accept he was human and can make mistakes.

Speaking to Breakfast on GB News this morning (Sat) Mr Raab said: “What I can tell you is of course, the Prime Minister put his hand straight up. It was a mistake. He apologised for it. He takes responsibility for it. He hasn’t actually gone down that path of blaming anyone else. He’ll pay the fine. He’s a human as well as an incredibly busy Prime Minister. He has a frantic schedule but he has made clear there are no excuses.”

Mr Raab said it was “perfectly proper” for police to have looked into the seatbelt blunder, adding: “We wouldn’t second-guess the role of the police in this.”
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner accused Mr Sunak of displaying a “lack of judgment” having received his second fixed penalty notice in less than a year.
He previously paid one as chancellor, alongside Boris Johnson, amid the partygate scandal for attending a lockdown-busting gathering to mark the then-prime minister’s birthday.
Mr Sunak is the second prime minister in history, after Mr Johnson, to be slapped with a police fine while in the top job.
Lancashire Constabulary, who issued the notice, did not reveal how much Mr Sunak was fined. But fixed penalty notices for seatbelt offences are usually £100, rising to up to £500 if taken to court.
Lancashire Police said: “You will be aware that a video has been circulating on social media showing an individual failing to wear a seatbelt while a passenger in a moving car in Lancashire.
“After looking into this matter, we have today issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of fixed penalty.”
A fixed penalty notice is a sanction for breaking the law, which allows the recipient to pay a set amount of money to avoid going to court.
A Labour spokesperson said: “Hapless Rishi Sunak’s leveling-up photo op has blown up in his face and turned him into a laughing stock.
“He started the week hoping people would be grateful for a partial refund on the money that has been stripped from them over 13 years of the Tories. But instead he got a warring party and yet another fine from the police.”
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak has shown the same disregard for the rules as Boris Johnson, and now becomes the second ever prime minister to be fined by the police.
“From partygate to seatbelt gate, these Conservative politicians are just taking the British people for fools.

“Whilst they continue to behave as though it’s one rule for them and another for everyone else, this fine is a reminder that the Conservatives eventually get their comeuppance.”