Ed Balls to face prosecution and points on his licence after hitting parked car


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Indy Politics

Ed Balls faces the embarrassment of being prosecuted – and having points added to his driving licence – after failing to report hitting another car.

The shadow Chancellor was forced to apologise last month after it emerged he damaged a parked vehicle when trying to manoeuvre out of a tight spot.

The accident happened when he tried to turn his car around in a tight spot in a drive next to the Labour rooms in his West Yorkshire constituency of Morley.

Mr Balls said at the time that he had not realised he pranged the Peugeot 306, explaining he thought he had simply “touched bumpers”.

In an article today in a local paper, Mr Balls disclosed he was being prosecuted and would face points on his licence.

“The police have to do their job. Once I’d confirmed I knew the bumpers had touched, their standard approach is to proceed to charge as they expect people to stop and check.

I fully understand and accept that, so of course I will be accepting the charge. While I had no knowledge at the time that any damage had occurred, I accept their view that I should have checked. Getting points on my licence will be a blow – but that’s the way it works.”

Mr Balls said he took full responsibility for the damage and had been in touch with the car’s owner to say he would pay for repairs.

Failure to stop at the scene of an accident carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison or a £5,000 fine and up to 10 penalty points.

The accident, which took place on 5 April, was caught on CCTV and the registration traced back to the car used by Mr Balls and his wife Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary.

It was the latest of a series of occasions at which the shadow Chancellor has fallen foul of the law when driving.

During the 2010 election campaign, Mr Balls was caught using a mobile phone while behind the wheel. He was fined £60 and received three points on his licence. Last June it emerged he had been fined £350 and given another three points after going through a red light. Two months earlier he had been caught doing 56mph in a 50mph motorway zone. He agreed to attend a speed awareness course rather than receive points.