Keir Starmer gets grilled over 'Beergate'
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Sir Keir did not confirm or deny if police had been in touch with him after Durham Police had been urged to reopen the investigation. The Labour leader was accused of breaking Coronavirus regulations on April 30 last year by drinking a beer with colleagues in the office of Mary Foy, the City of Durham MP.
In February, Durham Constabulary said it did not consider Sir Keir’s actions a breach of the rules but the force has come under pressure following the recent fines at Downing Street.
Conservative MP for North West Durham, Richard Holden, called for a fresh investigation after claims of evidence of a quiz and social event held by the local Labour Party on the same night.
The Labour leader accused the Conservative Party of “whipping the issue up” and “mud-slinging” as he said the police had concluded their investigation months ago.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning Sir Keir said: “The police looked at this months ago and came to a clear conclusion that was ‘no rules were broken’, and that’s because no rules were broken.
“Look, they’ve already concluded their investigation, no rules were broken and this is simply being whipped up as mud-slinging by the Tories.
“There was no party, no rules were broken, that is the long and short of it.”
He added: “We were working, we stopped for food, no party, no rules were broken; I don’t know what I can add to that.”
Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said police officers should “look at it again” with “all the new evidence” that has come forward.
She told Sky News this morning: “I’d like Durham Constabulary to look at everything and to, if they felt a fixed penalty notice was the appropriate statement of conclusion of it, in the same way the Metropolitan Police have here for a number of people who were in Downing Street at events that had been deemed unsuitable, then what I would want to see is that same fixed penalty notice.”
But she added that Sir Keir should not have to step down as leader of the Labour Party if he was fined saying: “I don’t think that is a resigning matter, personally.”
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were among at least 50 individuals issued with a fixed penalty notice by the Metropolitan Police for breaching lockdown regulations following parties at 10 Downing Street and Whitehall.
Mr Johnson confirmed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain this morning that he has not received any further fines over the Partygate scandal.
But he said: “I have no idea” if he will be awarded another.
Sir Keir was critical of Mr Johnson’s fine tweeting at the time: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public.
“They must both resign. The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better.”
So what do YOU think? Should Durham Police reopen lockdown beers probe? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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