Harman fined £350 for driving offence

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Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman was fined £350 for driving without due care and attention yesterday after a parking accident.

The cabinet minister, who admitted the charge, also had three points added to her licence. Prosecutors had considered charging Ms Harman with leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report it. But the potentially more serious offences were not brought to court and a second charge of driving while using her mobile phone was withdrawn.

The 59-year-old MP for Camberwell and Peckham did not attend yesterday's hearing at City of Westminster magistrates' court and instead attended a cabinet meeting.

She was at the centre of a police inquiry after she reversed her Rover 75 into a parked car in Camberwell, south-east London, in July last year. Police were called by the parked car's owner, who saw the accident from the window of his flat.

The court heard Ms Harman was trying to move out from between two parked cars when the collision occurred and was using her mobile phone at the time. No damage was caused to either car and no insurance claims were made.

Ms Harman, who now has nine points on her licence after speeding twice in 30mph zones, was also told to pay £70 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. Motorists who accumulate 12 points on their licence face a ban.

The cabinet minister's spokeswoman said Ms Harman was pleased the other charges had been dropped and that it had been established it was "not a 'hit and run' accident".