Barack Obama’s presidential motorcade has been fined for not paying the congestion charge in London.
And you can’t say that the US president was not warned.
London Mayor Boris Johnson button-holed him at a State banquet in May to raise the issue of US diplomats in London not paying the congestion-busting levy. They have run up a bill of more than £5 million since 2003.
At the time, the Mayor of London also publicly made clear that he wanted the £10 congestion charge paid for Mr Obama’s security vehicle “The Beast” and other cars in the president’s motorcade.
But the US authorities defied the request and have now been hit with a £120 fine.
“The Beast” escaped a congestion charge ticket as it was travelling so slowly and closely to other vehicles in the presidential motorcade that its details could not be recorded by the street cameras.
Only one vehicle is understood to have been issued with a congestion charge notice.
A Transport for London spokesman said: “TfL pursues penalties from foreign registered vehicles that have not paid the charge.
“No Congestion Charge payments were made for the vehicles in the Presidential motorcade. TfL has issued Penalty Charge Notices to the registered keepers where it was able to do so.”
But the American Embassy defended the refusal by US diplomats to pay the C-charge insisting it was “wholly in accordance” with the 1960 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which a spokesman said “prohibits the imposition of this sort of tax on diplomatic missions”.