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Zac Goldsmith banned from driving after breaking speed limit seven times

Zac Goldsmith was warned by a judge that speeding drivers “emit more harmful emissions” as he was banned from driving for a year for a number of motoring offences.

The former environment minister, 49, broke speed limits seven times in his hybrid Volkswagen Golf on London roads in Paddington, Chelsea and Twickenham between April and November 2023.

He was also caught speeding on two motorways, most recently in December, Westminster magistrates court heard.

The court heard that in April last year Goldsmith was caught driving at 29mph in a 20mph zone on Chelsea Embankment, and in July he drove at 28mph in a 20mph zone near Kensington Gardens.

In May, August and November of the same year, he broke the 40mph limit on the A316 in Twickenham by twice driving at 46mph and once at 47mph.

He was also caught driving at 62mph in a 50mph zone at the M25 intersection with the M3 in December, and at 73mph between junctions 20 and 19 of the M4 in September – breaking a 50mph temporary speed limit.

Goldsmith had been banned from driving since January, when an interim disqualification was imposed.

The former MP for Richmond Park, who unsuccessfully ran to be London mayor in 2016 before serving as a minister in Boris Johnson’s cabinet, did not attend the hearing.

Benjamin Waidhofer, defending, said Goldsmith had shown “remorse” for his offending and is “not someone who is manifestly defying the usual speed limits”.

Having pleaded guilty to all of the offences, the peer was fined £5,500, and ordered to pay a surcharge of £2,000 and costs of £700.

Goldsmith resigned as a Foreign Office minister in June 2023, accusing Rishi Sunak of being “uninterested” in the environment.

The Conservative peer and former MP published a long resignation letter detailing his disappointment with the prime minister for causing “paralysis” on the environment within Whitehall.

He said he had been horrified by the Sunak government’s “abandonment” of policies around animal welfare, and that its efforts on environmental issues at home had “simply ground to a standstill”.