Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is facing a police investigation after he hit a parked car and drove off without contacting the owner.
The incident happened on Saturday, outside the Labour office in Morley, in Mr Balls’ constituency. The owner of the damaged car didn’t notice until the following day, but CCTV cameras recorded Ball’s car leaving the scene, allowing police to trace the registration details.
Mr Balls has admitted causing the damage while “negotiating his way out of a tight spot”, but said he did not realise what had happened until police contacted him.
He told the Yorkshire Post: “Ten days ago, I turned our car round in a tight spot in the private drive beside the Labour rooms in Morley. There was a stationary car parked close by. The turn took five or seven points and I was aware that at one point the bumpers of the two cars touched.
“I park there all the time in what is a relatively narrow drive. But until I was contacted the following Wednesday, I had no awareness at all that there had been any damage to the other car.
“As soon as I was made aware of what had happened, I took full responsibility for any damage caused. I have written to the owner of the other car to say I was terribly sorry and to reimburse the owner concerned for the necessary repair. I have contacted our insurance company in the usual way.”
In 2010, Mr Balls was fined £60 a given three penalty points on his license for after being caught talking on his mobile phone while driving. He admitted he had been “stupid”.
Last year he was also caught doing 58 mph in a 50 mph zone, leading to him being fined and attending a speed awareness course.
In the worst cases, failing to stop at the scene of the accident carries a penalty of up to six months imprisonment, a £5,000 fine or up to 10 penalty points on a driving license.