Police STILL not contacted Labour over Starmer's 'Beergate' episode

Police STILL have not contacted Labour over Keir Starmer’s ‘Beergate’ episode as ANOTHER Cabinet minister urges a probe into the ‘work event’

  • Tory ministers have dramatically ramped up pressure on Labour over Beergate
  • Sir Keir Starmer was caught on camera swigging beer with colleagues in Durham
  • Durham Police not contacted Labour despite Sir Keir dodging on the question 

Police still have not contacted Labour over Keir Starmer’s ‘Beergate’ episode, it was revealed today – despite another Cabinet minister urging a probe. 

In interviews this morning, Sir Keir denied there was any ‘equivalence’ between the ‘work event’ during a visit to Durham last year and the lockdown breaches in Downing Street.

He accused the Tories of ‘mudslinging’ ahead of local elections, before raising eyebrows by repeatedly dodging over whether police had been in touch about the incident. 

However, it is understood there has been no fresh approach from the local force.

The comments came as Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan added to calls for Durham Police to look again at the issue, saying she would ‘encourage’ officers to do so.  

Sir Keir was caught on camera swigging beer with colleagues at a time when England was slowly emerging from lockdown last year, when indoor socialising was banned. Labour insisted it was a ‘work event’. 

In interviews this morning, Sir Keir denied there was any ‘equivalence’ between the ‘work event’ during a visit to Durham last year and the lockdown breaches in Downing Street 

Sir Keir was caught on camera swigging beer with colleagues at a time when England was slowly emerging from lockdown last year

Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan added to calls for Durham Police to look again at the issue, saying she would ‘encourage’ officers to do so

But last week, after being presented with video evidence by the Daily Mail, the party was forced to admit deputy leader Mrs Rayner was at the gathering – something it had denied for months.

A string of other questions have also been raised about Labour’s account of the event, particularly over whether Sir Keir returned to work after drinking beer at 10pm. 

Durham Constabulary has so far declined to launch a full investigation – apparently deciding to clear Sir Keir of any offence on the basis of video footage it reviewed in February. 

Asked if there has been any contact from the force in recent weeks, a clearly irritated Sir Keir told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘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.’

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.’

Asked if he returned to work after the beer, he replied: ‘Yes, the idea that nobody works at 10 o’clock at night is absurd.’

Amid growing calls for a review of the event, Ms Trevelyan told Sky News: ‘I understand that there is some work ongoing and I would absolutely encourage them to look at it.’

She added: ‘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.

‘I don’t think those are resigning matters for anybody.’

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said yesterday: ‘Keir Starmer clearly has questions to answer on this affair, which isn’t going away. 

‘Given his unrelenting focus on events in Downing Street, it is only right that he observes the same standard in regard to scrutiny that he applies to the benches opposite. Otherwise, he leaves himself open to the charge of hypocrisy.’ 

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: ‘We are expected to believe that a curry and beers arrived for about 30 people at 10pm, and this was a break for a work meeting? 

‘No reasonable person believes Labour’s story, so why do Durham police and what were they told?’ 

Tory chairman Oliver Dowden said: ‘The revelations that have come to light in the past week clearly do not stack up with his [Sir Keir’s] account of events.’ 

While Home Secretary Priti Patel has declined to intervene, as the police are operationally independent, her allies voiced frustration about a lack of action from Durham Constabulary. 

A Home Office source said: ‘Taxpayers across the UK expect the law to be enforced equally. 

‘It’s clear Starmer has more questions to answer in light of recent revelations.’ 

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said yesterday: ‘No reasonable person believes Labour’s story, so why do Durham police and what were they told?’

Sir Keir faced questions yesterday about the Durham Miners Hall gathering on April 30 last year during a visit to Worthing, East Sussex, ahead of Thursday’s local elections. 

He was also grilled on suggestions there could have been as many as 30 attendees. 

Tory MPs yesterday accused Sir Keir and Mrs Rayner of hypocrisy for calling for Boris Johnson to face a police probe or the sack over Partygate, whilst refusing to accept they should be treated the same. 

Mark Jenkinson said: ‘They’re quick to call for police investigations and resignations, unless it’s into their own behaviour.’ 

His colleague Chris Clarkson said: ‘Week after week we had the same pained sanctimonious expression from Keir Starmer at the dispatch box as he banged on about parties, when all along he knew he’d been at one himself and so had his deputy.’ 

Last month Mr Johnson was fined by the Met Police for attending a No 10 event on his birthday in 2020. 

Richard Holden, Tory MP for North West Durham, wrote to Durham Constabulary a week ago asking it to reconsider a probe in light of the Met’s fine. 

Step 2 rules in England from April 12 to May 17 last year stated: ‘You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble.’

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