Durham Police should reopen an investigation into whether Sir Keir Starmer broke coronavirus laws, a minister has said.
the union leader has been under pressure since footage emerged of him having a beer with colleagues at a time when restrictions were in place.
Speaking on Sky News, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said officers should “review this” with “any new evidence” that has been presented.
She added that if the police “consider that a fixed fine notice should be issued, then this would clearly be the tool at their disposal to do so”.
But Ms Trevelyan said Sir Keir should not have to resign as leader of the Labor Party if he were to receive a fixed sentence, adding: ‘I don’t think it’s a I don’t think I don’t. think it’s a question of resignation, personally.”
Politics Hub: Prime Minister accused of election campaign over Ukrainian speech
“I understand there is work going on and I would absolutely encourage them to take a look,” Ms Trevelyan told Sky News.
She added: “I would like Durham Police to look into everything and – if they felt that a Fixed Penalty Notice was the appropriate statement of conclusion to this in the same way that the Metropolitan Police have here for a number of people who were in Downing Street at events that were deemed improper, so what I would like to see is the same fixed penalty notice.
“I don’t think these are resignation issues for anyone.”
Starmer accuses Tory MPs of ‘slander’
Monday, Sir Keir accused Tory MPs of ‘bashing’ the footage of him having a beer with others in an office at a time of covid restrictions
He told broadcasters that the people pictured were working and stopping to eat and that “no rules were broken”.
At the time, people in England were no mixing indoors outside of work.
He added that there is a stark contrast between the incident and behavior in Downing Street, which is “the most sanctioned workplace in the whole of the UK”.
In recent days, Sir Keir has come under increased pressure over the event – during which he was filmed drinking beer with campaigners from local MP Mary Foy’s Durham constituency office in the approaching Hartlepool by-election.
“We are working”
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.
Asked about the issue on Monday, the Labor leader told reporters: “We were working. It was a few days before the election. We stopped for something to eat.
“There was no party, no rules were broken. I can’t add anything to that.”
Asked if he wanted to provide any further clarification on what to place, the Labor leader continued: “There was no party, no breach 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 a Tory bashing election.
“But I have nothing to add.”
Labor rejects comparison between Downing Street parties
Richard Holden, the Tory MP for North West Durham, urged police to reconsider their decision not to investigate the event after the fine pronounced to Mr Johnson for attending a birthday party at No 10.
But Labor rejected any equivalence with the Downing Street party scandalwhich shook the government.
Durham Police confirmed they had received “a number of other communications” which they would respond to, but said they were not currently investigating the matter.
The Metropolitan Police investigation into lockdown-breaking parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall is still ongoing.
Everything you need to know about the Partygate survey
Follow the daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
Last month the Prime Minister, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Mr Johnson’s wife, Carrie Johnson, all received fine notices for attending an event marking the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday.
The Prime Minister, who has faced persistent calls to quit for the party, is believed to have been involved in more than 12 events being investigated by Scotland Yard.
The Met Police said so will not release any further partygate updates before the municipal elections in May.
You Can Read Also