Rainham MP arrested for ‘driving without insurance’

A prominent Labour MP faces a driving ban after being arrested on suspicion of being at the wheel of a car with an expired MOT certificate and no insurance.

Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, was driving a Land Rover near Hyde Park on July 6 when he was pulled over after officers noticed what appeared to be a defective brake light.

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He could be handed a ban or hefty fines after being summoned to appear before City of London Magistrates’ Court, later this month.

The news came as Mr Cruddas was forced to defend himself after it emerged he had received �167,000 from trade unions over the last decade – the second biggest handout after donations to Ed Miliband.

The Met Police confirmed on Monday that a summons had been issued.

A spokesman said: “A summons has been served alleging driving without valid insurance and MOT in Bayswater Road by Jon Cruddas MP and is returnable to City of London Magistrates’ Court on October 26.”

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Mr Cruddas said the insurance and MOT lapse were a “genuine mistake”.

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He added: “I thought I had more time to renew both than I actually did, which of course I apologise for.”

Mr Cruddas received the donations from 2001, according to Electoral Commission figures. He came second in a list of Labour politicians who have been given union cash, with Mr Miliband coming top with �172,000.

Tory MP Priti Patel told a national newspaper: “This blows the lid on the union barons’ secret funding of Labour MPs.”

But Mr Cruddas said the cash he had received had been used to remove the British National Party from Barking and Dagenham.

He defended the donations and described himself as “a proud union man with a background in the movement.

“The money that has been donated to me over an 11-year period has been used to ensure the BNP were removed from Barking and Dagenham.”