London

Kazakhstan and Nigeria embassies pay £40k parking fines

Two foreign embassies have paid more than £40,000 in outstanding fines handed out for illegal parking in central London.

Diplomats from Kazakhstan ran up a bill of £37,160 for 627 tickets, while the Nigerian Embassy cleared its £3,450 bill for 78 offences last year.

Westminster Council said it will write to embassies who have not paid.

China, Turkey, Afghanistan, the UAE, Cyprus, France, the US and Germany are among the top 10 fine dodgers, it said.

Kazakhstan Embassy had the maximum number of unpaid parking fines, the authority said.

Lee Rowley, Westminster Council's cabinet member for parking, said: "If you inconvenience other drivers by parking incorrectly in Westminster then you'll get a parking ticket and you should have to pay, regardless of who you are or your job title.

"Citing 'diplomatic immunity' as an excuse for not paying tickets is clearly unacceptable."

The Conservative-run council said it was owed £1,099,604 in outstanding fines, that it had handed out since 2007.

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