Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner receive questionnaires from Durham Police on ‘beergate’ | Political news



Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner both received questionnaires from Durham Police regarding a potential breach of lockdown rules in April 2021.

Sir Keir came under pressure at an event in Durham in April 2021 with party colleagues when he was filmed having a drink and a takeaway curry was ordered – dubbed ‘beergate’.

The Labor leader has says he will tender his resignation if he receives a notice of a fixed penalty for breaking the COVID rules.

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A Labor Party spokesman said: ‘Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have received questionnaires from Durham Constabulary.

Sir Keir, who has been a vocal critic of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street rule-breaking, has previously said it was ‘absolutely clear that no law was broken’ in his case.

Ms Rayner also said no rules were broken and similarly pledged that she would resign if fined.

At the time, COVID rules prohibited the mixing of households indoors outside of work.

Labor claimed they could prove the curry and beers shared by his team were part of a long day’s work to prepare for Hartlepool’s by-election.

However, Durham Police have launched an investigation after calls from Tory MPs asking them to investigate the incident.

Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner
Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have both said they would quit if fined by police

Earlier this month, Sir Keir told Sky News: “We were in the office, working, stopping for something to eat, there was no party, no rules were broken. and that’s all.”

The Durham Police investigation is expected to continue until at least June, when any of the at least 15 people present could face a penalty if found to have broken the law.

This comes after 28 Conservative MPs publicly called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to step down on the partygate scandal.

A total of 41 Tory MPs have expressed their displeasure with the Prime Minister’s handling of the party, according to a tally by Sky News, but 28 have actually called for his resignation.

And Mr Johnson’s own ethics counselor asked him to explain why he believes he did not break the ministerial code after being fined for breaches of containment.


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