Beergate: What we know about Keir Starmers alleged lockdown breach

Alex Norris asked if Keir Starmer should resign if fined

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was pictured with a bottle in his hand alongside other people, at roughly the same time the Prime Minister and Chancellor attended lockdown parties they were fined for. A Durham Constabulary spokesperson said an “assessment” of whether lockdown rule breach had happened was carried out earlier this year.

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

“Following the receipt of significant new information over recent days, Durham Constabulary has reviewed that 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 now being conducted.”

So what do we know so far about Sir Keir Starmer’s alleged rule-breaking?

What are the allegations against him?

Sir Keir was filmed drinking a beer inside a Durham Office at a time when lockdown rules prevented people from meeting inside.

It has since been claimed a large takeaway curry order had been delivered and a group of up to 30 may have been present – this has not been confirmed by anyone present or by the Labour Party.

Labour have insisted that the gathering was within the rules as groups assembling for work purposes were permitted at the time.

Where was the photo taken?

The footage of the Labour leader was taken in April in the run-up to the May 6, 2021 Hartlepool by-election.

The Labour leader was snapped in the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy – inside Durham Miners’ Hall.

The footage shows the Labour leader with a bottle in his hand while others are around him holding plates.

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What were the rules at the time?

At the time, England was under “Step 2” rules, introduced in the weeks prior on April 12.

The law stipulated that gathering with others from outside your household was illegal.

However, gatherings for work purposes were permitted.

What has Sir Keir said?

Sir Keir maintains that it was a work event and that those who attended followed all the rules.

Explaining the incident to ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, the Labour leader said: “We’re on the road at the end of the day, we’re in the office preparing.

“Now, that evening, from memory, we were doing an online event for members because we had this get out the vote thing.”

He added: “At some point, this was in the evening, everybody’s hungry and then that takeaway was ordered. It was then delivered into the kitchen of the offices…

“Restaurants and pubs were closed, so takeaways were really the only way you could eat.

“So, this was brought in and at various points people went through the kitchen, got a plate, had some food to eat and got on with their work.”

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “We’re obviously happy to answer any questions there are and we remain clear that no rules were broken.”

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