The Shadow Chancellor blogs this afternoon:
“I’d been turning our car round in a tight spot in the narrow private drive beside the Labour rooms in Morley where I park all the time. Another car was parked close by and I was aware the two bumpers touched. But I had no idea any damage had been done until the police got in touch a week later.
As soon as I was aware any damage had been done I immediately took full responsibility for any damage caused. I’ve been in touch with the owner to apologise for the inconvenience and to pay for the repair to the marks on the parked car’s bodywork.
The police have to do their job. Once I’d confirmed I knew the bumpers had touched, their standard approach is to proceed to charge as they expect people to stop and check.
I fully understand and accept that, so of course I will be accepting the charge. While I had no knowledge at the time that any damage had occured, I accept their view that I should have checked. Getting points on my licence will be a blow – but that’s the way it works.”
Balls has changed his tune slightly. When the police began their investigation he claimed “As soon as I was made aware of what had happened, I took full responsibility for any damage caused.” Yet now he admits he knew the collision had happened at the time…