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Zac Goldsmith banned from driving after he was caught speeding seven times in nine months

Former environment minister Zac Goldsmith has been banned from driving for a year after he was caught speeding seven times last year.

The Conservative peer, 48, was handed the ban for offences including exceeding speed limits in a hybrid electric Volkswagen Golf on roads in Paddington, Chelsea and Twickenham between April and August 2023.

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

On 27 April 2023, he was caught travelling along Chelsea Embankment at 29mph, despite the limit being 20mph, according to court papers.

Just over a month later, on 31 May, the Tory environmentalist drove at 46mph on the A316 in Twickenham, which has a 40mph limit. He was caught speeding on that same road on 3 August, while driving at 47mph.

A month before the August incident, on 18 July, Lord Goldsmith exceeded the 20mph limit on Bayswater Road, next to Kensington Gardens, while travelling at 28mph.

Lord Goldsmith was caught speeding four times in an electric vehicle in 2023 (PA Archive)
Lord Goldsmith was caught speeding four times in an electric vehicle in 2023 (PA Archive)

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.

Benjamin Waidhofer, defending, said Lord 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.

He is the latest big name to be prosecuted under the single justice procedure, which was introduced in 2015 to allow courts to sit in private and deal with cases based on paperwork alone.

Lord Goldsmith ran unsuccessfully against Labour candidate Sadiq Khan to be London Mayor in 2016.

He served as a minister in Boris Johnson’s government after being elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Goldsmith of Richmond Park.

But he later resigned from Rishi Sunak’s government in June 2023 over what he described as an “apathy” towards the environment.