Keir Starmer And Angela Rayner Will Not Be Fined By Durham Police
Labour leader Keir Starmer and deputy Angela Rayner will not be fined for their involvement in an event held while coronavirus restrictions were in place, Durham Police has confirmed.
Durham Police said in a statement on Friday that Starmer and Rayner had not broken any Covid rules at the event in question.
"It has been concluded that there is no case to answer for a contravention of the regulations, due to the application of an exception, namely reasonably necessary work," they said.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have always been clear that no rules were broken in Durham. The police have completed their investigation and have agreed saying that there is no case to answer.”
The Labour leader is due to take questions at a press conference later today.
Both Starmer and Rayner had pledged to resign from their positions if they were fined by the police for breaching lockdown regulations.
Durham Police initially stated Starmer had broken lockdown rules when he consumed a curry and alcohol at the constituency office of Labour MP Mary Kelly Foy late on the evening of 30 April 2021 while campaigning during the Hartlepool by-election. At the time most indoor social gatherings were banned.
However, following the receipt of "significant new information" and mounting pressure from Conservative MPs, the force later confirmed it would look into the event, which was captured in a 43-second video filmed by a member of the public.
Starmer has consistently denied that the gathering, in which several party officials were present, breached lockdown rules. The Labour leader said the dinner constituted a break from work and took place in Foy’s office because no restaurants or pubs were open.
Starmer has also previously claimed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham, where he was staying, was not serving dinner, despite reports claiming it was open.
The Labour leader has previously called for both the former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson to resign over the fines they received from the Metropolitan Police for breaching lockdown rules during a birthday celebration for Johnson.
Following fresh claims against him about the "beergate" incident in Durham, Starmer and Rayner pledged to resign if they were subsequently fined by the force.
Starmer claimed in a statement in May: “Those who make the laws must follow them. And I believe that politicians who undermine that principle, undermine trust in politics undermine our democracy and undermine Britain.
“I'm absolutely clear that no laws were broken. They were followed at all times. I simply had something to eat while working late in the evening, as any politician would do days before an election.
“But if the police decide to issue me with a fixed penalty notice I would of course do the right thing and step down.”
He added: “This matters because the British public deserve politicians who think the rules are applied.
“They deserve politicians who hold themselves to the highest standards and they deserve politicians who put the country first, rather than themselves.”
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