Police ‘looking into’ video of Sunak not wearing seatbelt

Lancashire Police are “looking into” Rishi Sunak after he did not wear a seatbelt as he filmed a video for social media in the back of a moving car today. The Prime Minister has apologized after eagle-eyed viewers spotted he was not buckled up in the Instagram clip to promote new leveling up funding during his visit to northern England.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said this evening: “We are aware of the matter and we will be looking into it.”

Downing Street earlier said that Mr. Sunak had made a “brief error of judgment” by removing the safety device to film the video.

A No 10 spokesman said the PM “fully accepts this was a mistake and apologizes”.

The spokesman added: “The Prime Minister believes everyone should wear a seatbelt. 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. “

The offense of failing to wear a seatbelt can be punished with fines of up to £500.

There are a few exemptions, including when a car is being used for police, fire and rescue services and for certified medical issues.

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

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

He says: “One of my New Year’s promises to you was to grow the economy, and today we’re announcing the second round of allocations from our leveling up fund. And that’s about investing in local areas in order to create jobs and help deliver on that promise to boost growth.”

The PM also faced separate criticism for taking an RAF jet from Northolt to Blackpool as he carried out a series of visits in northern towns linked to an announcement on the allocation of £2billion in leveling up funding.

Labor accused the Prime Minister of “jetting around the country on taxpayers’ money like an A-list celebrity” and making a “mockery” of his environmental strategy after the 41-minute flight.

But Downing Street defended the mode of transport as making “the best use of his time”.

And Mr Sunak insisted he had to be as “effective as possible”, while admitting that “trying to get across the north is not as easy as it should be”.

Tory MP Mark Jenkinson also defended Mr Sunak, saying: “He’s the Prime Minister, multiple train changes with a security detail and unreliable Avanti West Coast would be madness.”

A train journey from London Euston to Blackpool takes less than three hours, with a single fare coming in at £73.40, or £189.80 to travel during peak hours. First class could cost £257.

But disruption and delays hit earlier services on Thursday.

Last week, No 10 defended Mr Sunak flying to Leeds because there is a “great deal of pressure” on his schedule.

He went on to take an RAF plane to Scotland as he announced two new “green” freeports.

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