Labour MP Ed Balls has been handed a £900 fine and five penalty points after driving off following a minor car crash on April 5. The shadow chancellor bumped into another car outside the Labour Unity Club in his West Yorkshire constituency of Morley, and left the scene without informing the owner of the other vehicle.
Mr Balls did not attend the hearing for the case yesterday but admitted the offences of failing to stop and failing to report an accident, in a letter from his solicitors, reports the BBC.
District Judge Roy Anderson said: "Motorists who leave the scene of accidents without stopping to exchange particulars will, in serious cases, face a penalty which includes disqualification from driving. This, however, is a case very much at the lower end of the scale of seriousness.”
Another car was parked close by and I was aware the two bumpers touched. But I had no idea any damage had been done until the police got in touch a week later
Following the incident the MP wrote on his own blog: “Another car was parked close by and I was aware the two bumpers touched. But I had no idea any damage had been done until the police got in touch a week later.”
“As soon as I was aware any damage had been done, I immediately took full responsibility”. The minster added: “I've been in touch with the owner to apologise for the inconvenience and to pay for the repair to the marks on the parked car's bodywork."
This isn’t Mr Balls’ first driving offence however. Last year he was handed three points for driving through a red light in central London and he was previously caught speeding in West Yorkshire. In that case Mr Balls received a fine and attended a speed awareness course rather than receiving points on his licence. He was also caught using his phone while driving in 2010 and fined £60.
Following this latest misdemeanour Mr Balls has been ordered to pay a £900 fine plus a £90 surcharge and £85 payment towards prosecution costs.
Picture: Fotolia – Marc Xavier