The government becomes a laughing stock. – Owl
Pranksters erect ‘blue plaque’ commemorating Rishi Sunak’s seatbelt fine
Andy Gregory www.independent.co.uk
Pranksters have stuck a fake commemorative “blue plaque” to a lamppost on the street where Rishi Sunak was fined for not wearing a seatbelt.
The prime minister was reprimanded by police earlier this month after posting a promotional video to Instagram which inadvertently showed him failing to abide by the rules of the road.
A sticker intended to replicate the English Heritage-style plates has now appeared on Squires Gate Lane in Blackpool, which is on the route taken by Mr Sunak at the time of the infraction.
The ‘blue plaque’ commemorating Rishi Sunak’s Fixed Penalty Notice (Blackpool Gazette / SWNS)
It reads: “Rishi Sunak 19-1-2023. Received a fixed penalty notice for being filmed passing this spot in a car whilst not wearing a seatbelt.”
The clip went viral shortly after it was posted to Mr Sunak’s social media account, as viewers noticed Mr Sunak was missing his seatbelt while discussing the government’s levelling up programme in the back seat of a moving car en route to Morecambe.
Lancashire Police announced the day after the video was released that he would be fined.
It is the second fixed penalty notice Mr Sunak is known to have received while in office, having previously been fined while serving as chancellor alongside predecessor Boris Johnson over their attendance at a gathering in Downing Street which violated lockdown rules.
A Labour spokesperson said at the time: “Hapless Rishi Sunak’s levelling-up photo op has blown up in his face and turned him into a laughing stock.”
Downing Street said that Mr Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised”, with a No 10 spokesperson adding: “He will of course comply with the fixed penalty.”
English Heritage blue plaques are typically used to commemorate the birthplaces and residents of famous people and achievements throughout history.
Additional reporting by SWNS