Page last updated at 21:40 GMT, Sunday, 25 April 2010 22:40 UK

Balls apologises over fine for using mobile in car

Ed Balls talks about the mobile incident at a Labour news conference

Children's Secretary Ed Balls has apologised after been fined £60 for using a mobile phone while driving.

Mr Balls took his phone off its hand-free cradle while driving late at night last Sunday from Yorkshire to London.

During a Labour briefing, he said: "It was a fair cop". He added: "Of course I am sorry about it. It was a stupid thing to do."

He said he had been stopped immediately by police and had accepted the fine and three points on his licence.

Mr Balls said he supported the policy and law on not using mobile phones while driving and "deeply regretted" this incident.

He had already told the Sunday Mirror how he took the phone off its hand-free cradle so as to not wake his children.

Mr Balls is contesting the new seat of Morley and Outwood for Labour. Other candidates are Chris Beverley, British National Party; Antony Calvert, Conservative; David Daniel, UKIP; James Monaghan, Liberal Democrat.

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