Starmer dismisses Covid rule breach claims as political mud-slinging

Sir Keir Starmer, chief of the opposition Labour get together, has dismissed claims that he broke Covid guidelines final yr as political mud-slinging as Conservative MPs stepped up their questions on a Labour gathering in Durham final April.

Starmer is going through rising stress from the Tory get together over the occasion on April 30 2021 at which he was photographed consuming beer with colleagues at a time when indoor socialising was banned.

The Labour chief has stated he was election campaigning that day on the Durham Miners Corridor and had stopped within the night for meals, a takeaway from an area Indian restaurant, earlier than resuming work.

Durham police have already investigated the matter and concluded that Starmer had not damaged any guidelines. “Now we have no additional replace immediately,” the pressure stated on Tuesday.

However Richard Holden, Conservative MP for North West Durham, just lately wrote to the pressure urging it to reopen its inquiries into the occasion.

Starmer didn’t say whether or not the pressure had made contact with both him or his workplace in current days when requested on the BBC’s Radio 4 At the moment programme on Tuesday.

As an alternative of answering the query immediately, the Labour chief stated the Durham police had already come to the “clear conclusion” months in the past that no guidelines had been damaged.

“We have been working within the workplace, it was simply earlier than elections, we have been busy, we paused for meals, no get together, no guidelines have been damaged, that’s the lengthy and the in need of it,” he stated.

“All that has occurred final week is that with native elections on the horizon, Conservative MPs have chosen to chuck mud, I can see why they’re doing it.”

One Labour official stated that it was “self-evident” that Durham Constabulary had not been involved on condition that it had not introduced that the investigation can be reopened.

In the meantime, Starmer has tried to refocus public consideration on the native elections on Thursday, saying that his get together has the “wind in our sails” forward of polling day.

However Conservative cupboard ministers have lined as much as demand that Durham Constabulary reopen inquiries into the occasion.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, worldwide commerce secretary, stated on Tuesday that the pressure ought to have a look at the state of affairs within the “similar approach” the Metropolitan Police has investigated lockdown breaches in Whitehall.

“I perceive there may be some work ongoing and I might completely encourage [police] to take a look at it,” she advised Sky Information.

The Labour get together has been pressured to confess that its deputy chief Angela Rayner additionally attended the occasion, having beforehand claimed she was not there.

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