UK Politics

MP Richard Benyon gets six-month driving ban after texting offence

Environment Minister Richard Benyon Image copyright BC

Former Conservative minister Richard Benyon has been banned from driving for six months after pleading guilty to texting while at the wheel.

The Newbury MP was stopped by a police motorcyclist who had spotted him sending a text while driving in London.

The MP had already accumulated six points for two previous driving offences.

Mr Benyon, an MP since 2005, said he "deeply regretted" his actions, for which there was "no excuse".

Any driver caught using a mobile phone receives at least six points on their licence.

Mr Benyon, who served as Environment Minister under David Cameron, has spoken on several occasions about the need for drivers to keep their eyes on the road at all times, following a series of fatal crashes on the A34 in his constituency in recent months.

"I deeply regret my actions and entirely accept the verdict of the court," the MP said after the hearing in a magistrates' court in Willesden.

"There is absolutely no excuse for texting whilst driving - even in stationary and very heavy, slow traffic, as was the situation in my case."

The Reading Chronicle reported that the MP had been fined £421, including prosecution costs and a victim surcharge, alongside the ban.

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