Great Yarmouth MP compares PM's Covid fine to speeding ticket

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis speaking at the the Northern Ireland Business and Innovatio

MP Brandon Lewis continues to support Boris Johnson - Credit: PA

The MP for Great Yarmouth has suggested Boris Johnson's fine for breaking Covid rules is similar to leading politicians receiving a speeding or parking fine.

Brandon Lewis continues to support the prime minister after he was given a fine last week for attending a birthday party at 10 Downing Street.

Mr Lewis said other ministers, including former prime minister Tony Blair, had received fixed-penalty notices (FPN) and remained in office.

Mr Lewis told Sky News the prime minister was not the first No 10 incumbent to receive a penalty for a legal infringement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation. Photo: PA Video/PA Wire

Prime minister Boris Johnson was fined for breaching Covid rules - Credit: PA

He said; "I think we do see consistently, whether it is through parking fines or speeding fines, ministers of both parties over the years have been in that position.

"We've had prime ministers in the past who have received penalty notices, from what I can see, and also front bench ministers.

"I saw there was a parking notice that Tony Blair had once. We've seen front bench Labour ministers and, let's be frank, government ministers as well."

He added: "You've asked me, can someone who sets the laws and the rules, can they also be someone who breaks the rules?

"That clearly has happened with a number of ministers over the years."

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Senior opposition MPs have said there is a "massive difference" between a Covid FPN and a speeding ticket.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions, told ITV's Lorraine programme: "I have never had anybody break down in front of me because they couldn't drive at 35mph in a 30mph zone; I have had no end of people in tears - in real bits - about complying with rules that really, really hurt them."

The prime minister is due to address the House of Commons later today.

It is thought he will apologise for the rule breaching but emphasise the need to deal with the crisis in Ukraine and unlawful migration.

Asked whether Mr Johnson accepted that he broke the rules, Mr Lewis replied: "In the sense that he has paid a fine that the police have decided to issue because the rules were broken."