Sir Keir Starmer, Labour leader, has stated that Durham Police have not reached him regarding reinvestigating an April gathering in the city.
Quizzed over the event by ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme earlier today, Starmer explained: “No. They should. [Durham Constabulary]They released a statement last week stating that they are not reinvestigating. They haven’t spoken to me.”
Sir Keir said he had been “very careful to abide by the rules”.
Starmer thrice, in his broadcast round yesterday, refused to say whether police have recently contacted him about the event.
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Starmer was accused of breaching Covid rules after drinking beer in Durham’s local Labour party office after 10:00pm on 30 April 2021.
Covid rules at that time stressed that such indoor political meetings were only legally permitted and “reasonably necessary” for a campaign.
The Sun The newspaper also claims that the Labour campaigners ordered enough food at a local curry house for 30 people.
In this morning’s interview, Starmer dodged questions over how many people attended the gathering, stating: “Let me take that head on. We were there I think just a few weeks before the election last year. This means that I am currently on the road everyday with my team and going to different places. As soon as I leave here, I will be on the train to Wakefield. It was the same time last year.
“Across the country, going to areas where we needed to campaign. During the day, we went on visits, campaigning, going to high streets, knocking at doors wherever we could.
“In the evening we are preparing, we are doing all the other things that a team on the go has to do.
“That included when we were in Durham doing pieces to camera, doing media slots, doing preparation,” he went on.
Durham Constabulary said back in February that Starmer did not break the rules, but there have been fresh calls for an investigation after Scotland Yard slammed the prime minister and chancellor with £50 fines respectively after a birthday gathering in Downing Street.
Richard Holden, Conservative MP for North West Durham, has called for a fresh investigation into the event after he stated that there was evidence that a quiz and social were hosted by the local party on the same day.
Last week the Daily Mail published a “six-page dossier” on the row, saying that Labour now admits deputy leader Angela Rayner was too in attendance at the event, despite previously stating she was not.
A Labour spokesperson told the paper that the inconsistent statements regarding the gathering were “an honest mistake”.