Beergate: Durham Police to investigate Sir Keir Starmer over allegation he broke lockdown rules | Political news


Sir Keir Starmer will face a police investigation into ‘beergate’ – the allegation he broke lockdown rules by drinking with colleagues.

The Labor leader has been under pressure since footage emerged of him drinking beer and eating curry with colleagues from Durham while campaigning for the Hartlepool by-election in April 2021.

At the time, retail businesses and non-essential outdoor venues including pub gardens were open, but social distancing rules, which included a ban on mixing households indoors, remained in place. square.

Durham Constabulary said: “Earlier this year Durham Constabulary carried out an assessment to determine whether Covid-19 regulations had been breached at a gathering in Durham City on April 30, 2021.

“At that time, it was concluded that no offense had been established and therefore no further action would be taken.

“Following the receipt of significant new information in recent days, Durham Constabulary has reviewed this position and now, following the conclusion of the pre-election period, we can confirm that an investigation into potential breaches of COVID-19 regulations relating to this gathering is currently underway.”

A Labor Party spokesman said: ‘We are obviously happy to answer any questions that arise and remain clear that no rules have been broken.

The revelation comes after Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were fined for breaking lockdown rules following a Met Police investigation into partygate.

Sir Keir on Monday accused Tory MPs of ‘disparaging’ the allegations after coming under pressure from Tories over the event.

He said he and his colleagues worked at local MP Mary Foy’s Durham constituency office and took a break to eat, adding that “no rules were broken”.

Last week Labor confirmed its deputy leader Angela Rayner was also present, having previously told reporters that she was not present at the rally last April when coronavirus restrictions were in effect.

But a party source said it was a “good faith mistake” and Mr Keir insisted that “it makes absolutely no difference” as no rules were broken.

Sir Keir said earlier this week: “There was no partying, no breaking of the rules.

“It’s days away from the election, I know what’s going on here – the Tories are desperately trying to talk about anything other than the cost of living, throwing as much mud as they can.

“If they spent that much energy and that much attention on people’s bills and the tax they hit people for, then millions of people would be grateful.

“So I think it’s classic two or three days before an election from the Conservatives. But I have nothing to add.”

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