LONDON, March 15 — First he broke lockdown law. Then he was fined for not wearing a car seatbelt. Now Britain’s prime minister is again in trouble with the police — because of his dog.
Rishi Sunak and his family were filmed walking Nova the Labrador in central London’s Hyde Park, where signs clearly state that all dogs must be kept on leads to avoid worrying the wildlife.
In the clip posted on TikTok, Nova is seen roaming freely, drawing a rebuke from the Metropolitan Police.
“An officer, who was present at the time, spoke to a woman and reminded her of the rules,” a police statement said Tuesday, apparently referring to Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty.
“The dog was put back on the lead,” it said.
Sunak’s spokesman declined to comment.
Downing Street has likewise refused to comment on reports this week that the uber-wealthy Sunak has had the electricity network upgraded at his Yorkshire mansion in northern England, to power his heated swimming pool.
The prime minister has had several awkward encounters with the public, as he battles to counter perceptions that he is too rich to connect with voters amid a cost-of-living crisis in Britain.
And while projecting a more wholesome image than predecessor Boris Johnson, Sunak is making a habit of drawing untoward attention from the police.
He was fined while serving as Johnson’s finance minister for attending a Downing Street party in June 2020 that violated the government’s Covid rules on social distancing.
Johnson became the first UK premier to be fined by police, for the same party. But Sunak got his own prime ministerial fine in January.
Filming a social media video, he was penalised for failing to wear a seatbelt in a moving car. Sunak apologised for an “error of judgement”. — AFP