Police are investigating Labor leader Keir Starmer. It’s about the so-called “Beergate”:
In April last year, the British opposition leader took part in an election campaign trip to Durham in northern England – during which Starmer was also seen with a beer in his hand in a social gathering during the corona lockdown.
County Durham Police said on Friday they had received “significant new information” and are now investigating whether lockdown rules had been broken at the time. Previously, the authority had not considered investigations necessary.
Footage of the social gathering at a Labor office in Durham appeared in various media outlets, notably the Conservative Daily Mail running extensive pieces for days on the so-titled ‘Beergate’ incident. One said food had been ordered for 30 people. At the time, restaurants were still closed mainly due to the pandemic, and there were strict contact restrictions – with exceptions for work meetings.
Starmer denies allegations of breaking lockdown rules. He explains that he ordered curry from the office with his campaign team, ate at work, and drank a beer.
The Labor leader accused the Tories of a “mud fight” to distract from the “party gate” of their own Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He has already had to pay a fine for an illegal party, and others are still being investigated. The House of Commons recently voted to summon Johnson before an inquiry committee. The panel is to clarify whether the prime minister lied in parliament about illegal celebrations during the lockdown.
The policy reversal comes the day after regional elections in which Labor wrested some key districts and cities from the Tories. Starmer was still in a celebratory mood that morning and described the results as a “turning point” for his party.