Ed Balls fined over parking prang


Fabian Society annual conference

Labour MP Ed Balls has been fined £900 and given five penalty points after admitting leaving the scene of a minor parking collision.

The Shadow Chancellor had been manouvreing his Ford Mondeo in a narrow street when he hit a parked Peugeot 306 at low speed in his West Yorkshire constituency.

When initially questioned by police, Balls claimed to have been unaware of any damage caused to the Peugeot, despite admitting that the two cars touched.

In May, Mr Balls announced that he had been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, but escaped a full driving ban at a hearing at Leeds Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Though he wasn't present for proceedings, Mr Balls pleaded guilty by post to failing to stop and failing to report an accident, and was ordered to pay a £900 fine, a £90 government surcharge and £85 in prosecution costs.

Failing to stop at the scene of an accident carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment, though typically offenders are given between five and 10 penalty points and a fine of up to £5,000.

Passing sentence, district judge Roy Anderson said: "In this case, no injury was caused to any person and the damage to the other car was in reality very slight," The Mirror reports.

"While Mr Balls was careless in causing minor damage by colliding with the parked car, if he had stopped to exchange details with the owner it's clear this would never have been the subject of criminal proceedings."

The court heard that Mr Balls already had three points on his licence after being caught driving through a red light in 2012.