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Saturday, January 28, 2023

POLL: Should Rishi Sunak resign after latest police fine?

Dominic Raab said that by admitting he made an “inadvertent mistake”, the Prime Minister has not thrown his promise of a premiership of “integrity” into disarray.

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

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Lancashire Constabulary on Friday announced it was fining the Prime Minister after he was spotted not wearing his seatbelt in an Instagram video filmed to promote levelling-up funding during a visit to Lancashire a day earlier.

Downing Street said Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised” and that he 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, what people expect most of all is, you know, the individual concerned, whoever it may be, put their hand up, be honest about it, accept the mistake, pay the fine.

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

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Asked about Labour’s claim that the episode made the Prime Minister a “laughing stock”, Raab said: “I think you’ve got someone doing a very busy job – as many people do, so it’s no excuse – who’s made an inadvertent mistake. He’s put his hand up, he’s apologised for it.”

The Justice Secretary, who is himself under investigation over bullying allegations, 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.”

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A difficult week for Sunak

Sunak is the second prime minister in history, after Johnson, to be slapped with a police fine while in the top job.

The fine capped a tough week for Sunak, who was criticised for using a jet for a series of domestic trips and faced accusations that allocations of levelling-up funding were motivated by an attempt to shore up support in southern Tory seats.

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

 



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