Immigration minister Liam Byrne fined for using mobile phone while driving

Immigration minister Liam Byrne has been fined £100 for using his mobile phone while driving.

Byrne, who has been criticised for his defiance over controversial retrospective changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), was also ordered to pay £35 costs and given three points on his licence.

The Birmingham Hodge Hill MP pleaded guilty by letter, saying he had been taking an important call on a deportation matter. However he admitted there was no excuse and said he was remorseful, the BBC reported.

Byrne, who was stopped on 6 July on Tyburn Road in Birmingham, is a former police minister, and has campaigned on road safety several times since entering Parliament.

He once told a parliamentary committee that the most dangerous drivers were “serial potential killers”, and said he was “shocked” at the leniency of the sentences handed down to them.

His website lists safer roads among the eight priorities on an action plan for his constituency.

Byrne has refused to back down over November 2006 changes to the HSMP that require migrants to reapply for their visas under tougher rules than they expected. Several HSMP visa holders have won tribunals against their visa renewal rejections since the changes.

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