UK PM fined for failing to wear seatbelt

UK police have issued Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with a fine for travelling in the back seat of a car without wearing his seat belt while filming a social media clip.

Sunak, who apologised on Thursday for what he called a "brief error of judgement," filmed a video for Instagram in the back seat of his car while travelling in the north of England, without wearing a seat belt.

It is the second penalty Sunak has received from police after last year they found him to have broken COVID-19 lockdown rules, along with then-prime minister Boris Johnson.

Fixed penalty notices for seatbelt offences are usually 100 pounds ($A178) but they can rise to 500 pounds if taken to court.

The fine represents a new challenge for Sunak, whose Conservative Party trails far behind the opposition Labour Party in the opinion polls, ahead of an election due by January 2025 at the latest.

"The prime minister fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised. He will of course comply with the fixed penalty," a spokesman from Sunak's Downing Street office said in a statement.

Police in the northern English county of Lancashire confirmed that they had issued a London man with a penalty notice.

"Following the circulation of a video on social media showing an individual failing to wear a seat belt while a passenger in a moving car in Lancashire we have today issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of fixed penalty," Lancashire Police said on Twitter.

with PA