Labour leader investigated by police for breach of Covid laws
Durham police say they are investigating the Labour leader and deputy leader for attending a gathering during the lockdown.
Durham Police are again investigating a gathering attended by Labour leader Keir Starmer and his deputy, Angela Rayner, for potentially breaching Covid laws.
Police initially decided to take no action over a gathering that took place at the constituency office of Labour MP Mary Foy in April 2021.
A spokesperson for the Durham Constabulary said it was concluded at that time that no offense was established, and "therefore no further action would be taken."
However, new information received over recent days has had police review its position, and an investigation is taking place regarding potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations related to that gathering.
Starmer insists that he is "confident no rules were broken."
Emily Thornberry, Labour's shadow attorney general, said Durham Police has been "put under a lot of pressure" to investigate the matter by Conservative MPs.
“There’s lots of people who’ve been campaigning for the police to open this investigation, lots of Conservative MPs have been asking about it, lots of the Conservative-supporting newspapers have been making a big fuss about it,” she told Sky News.
Fined with Boris
Labour insists that this incident is unlike the host of parties hosted in Downing Street by Prime Minister Boris Johnson while Covid restrictions were applied, that later came to be known as Partygate.
Starmer had attended one of these parties in June 2020, and was fined for it by police. Scotland Yard announced that by April 12 it had issued more than 50 fines, but did not say who they were given to and at what gatherings, or if anyone was given multiple fines.
The announcement by the Durham Constabulary comes as Labor gains ground in local elections against Conservatives, who were hit by the Partygate scandal.
Labour says Starmer and his team, on the event in question, stopped for dinner. He previously told LBC Radio: "The restrictions allowed people to work when they needed to, we were running an election campaign, we were in a constituency office," adding no restaurants or pubs were open and the hotel they were staying in did not serve food.