Barack Obama, The Most Powerful Man In The Universe, owes £120 for late payment of the congestion charge. The US President incurred a fee while visiting London a couple of months ago. He didn’t pay. So he’s now been billed with a penalty notice.
The supposed transgression is challenged by the US, which sees the charge as a tax from which diplomatic vehicles are exempt under the 1960 Vienna Convention. Transport For London, meanwhile, has a policy of charging on any and all vehicles with foreign plates, even diplomatic ones.
Curiously, according to the Evening Standard, only one car in the President’s convoy got a fine. It wasn’t The Beast, as the cameras were unable to record its licence plate (It’s 800 022, in case they want to follow up). Why just one car? Is that all the cameras could pick up?
The Presidential penalty adds to an overflowing pot of £5 million in unpaid charges disputed by the US Embassy. Boris Johnson personally questioned Obama about the debt during the last visit.