A Tory Police and Crime Commissioner who pledged to crack down on speeding has been caught breaking a 30mph limit five times within a 12-week period.
It comes as a senior Tory compared Boris Johnson’s Partygate fine to getting a speeding ticket then tried to U-turn in an excruciating radio interview.
Brandon Lewis was sent out to defend Boris Johnson. Mr Lewis said the Prime Minister had accepted and paid the fine issued by the Metropolitan Police over his surprise birthday gathering in Downing Street on 19 June 2020.
But he tried to minimise the severity of the PM’s rule-breaking by claiming the Partygate penalty was similar to receiving a speeding fine, as both offences result in fixed penalty notices.
In an awkward clash, Mr Lewis then tried to wriggle out of his own comments when challenged by Radio 4 Today programme presenter Mishal Husain.
When he was challenged to back up his comments, he then pivoted: “If somebody gets a speeding ticket, I’m not in any way trying to equate a speeding ticket somebody has had with the situation, the sacrifices people have made through Covid.
“I want to be really clear about that.”
The PCC for Nottinghamshire Police, Caroline Henry, admitted the offences, including two committed on consecutive days, at a previous hearing in February at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.
Magistrates were told Henry, who is the wife of Broxtowe MP Darren Henry, had written a letter to the court saying she was “very sorry, embarrassed and ashamed”.
Her defence solicitor Noel Philo said the letter was written on “advice I did not give”.
The 52-year-old, who was elected to the post in May 2021, was caught speeding in a blue Mercedes and a silver Lexus with a personalised number plate in 30mph zones at four locations in Nottingham in March, May and June last year.
Court documents relating to the charges she has admitted show Henry was caught speeding twice near a primary school in Daybrook, Nottingham, as well as roads in Chilwell, Beeston and the city’s A610.
Speed cameras clocked the PCC’s speed as high as 40mph in a 30mph zone, with other excess speeds recorded at 35mph and 38mph.
The offences took place on March 17 and 18, May 2 and 27, and June 8 last year.
On her official PCC website, Henry listed ensuring an “effective and efficient” police response to speeding as one of her priorities.
She campaigned for election using the slogan “Make Notts Safe” and promised to “reduce crime with action, not words”.
The case was adjourned until July 19 where Henry is expected to argue two of the five offences were due to “emergencies”, with one being when she was “very concerned for one of her children”.
Henry did not respond to questions over whether she would resign from her position.
In a written statement issued after the hearing, Henry said: “For technical legal reasons, the court has constituted that they cannot deal with the case today.
“I cannot comment on the ongoing case. I will be explaining the context of this matter in due course.”