‘Mr Rules’ Keir Starmer ‘cowers’ from beergate claims as he cancels public appearance

SIR KEIR STARMER has decided to pull out of an appearance at an event where he was expected to discuss the “challenges the country faces” amid the ongoing ‘beergate’ row.

Alex Norris asked if Keir Starmer should resign if fined

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The party has not provided a comment about the Labour leader’s absence from the event at the Institute for Government, which is set to happen on Monday before the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday. Durham Police announced last week that the investigation into a potential breach of COVID-19 regulations has been relaunched amid new information.

This comes as a memo was found by the Mail on Sunday which showed that a dinner was scheduled for the event at Miners Hall when indoor mixing was not allowed unless it was for work purposes.

It was also initially said that deputy leader Angela Rayner was not present at the event which has now been found to be untrue as she was listed as a featured guest.

Durham police released a statement last Friday: “Earlier this year, Durham constabulary carried out an assessment as to whether COVID-19 regulations had been breached at a gathering in Durham City on April 30 2021.

“At that time, it was concluded that no offence had been established and therefore no further action would be taken.

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer has cancelled his attendance to an even on Monday amid beergate row (Image: Getty)

Labour Party in freefall tonight as more #beergate revelations set to emerge. Today it transpired that the boozy event saw dozens of curries ordered as more than 30 people could have been present at the lockdown busting gathering. Starmer on the brink as his story falls to bits. pic.twitter.com/HMpDypDwMe

— Brexit Future #Democracy (@BrexitFutureUK) May 4, 2022

“Following the receipt of significant new information over recent days, Durham Constabulary has reviewed that position and now, following the conclusion of the pre-election period, we can confirm that an investigation into potential breaches of COVID-19 regulations relating to this gathering is now being conducted.”

A party source told the MailOnline: “In the shadow cabinet there are certainly some who think instead of cowering, he should tackle this head on by saying he will resign if he is fined.

“He has nothing to lose. He will have to go anyway if he gets a fine, this would put him in a much stronger position if he is cleared.”

Angela Rayner

Angela Rayner was at the event despite previous claims she was not (Image: Getty)

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday & The Take (@RidgeOnSunday) May 8, 2022

Dianne Abbott is so far the only Labour member to publicly state that Sir Keir should resign if he is found to be lying while the majority of the party agree that the scenario is entirely different to the Partygate issue of the Tories.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has come out in support of Starmer stating that if a fine is issued, he should not have to resign as it is a “fluff” issue.

He told Channel 4: “I think he should pay a fine and then talk about the issues of great importance to the nation.”

Meanwhile, left-wing activist Owen Jones said if Sir Keir is found to have lied then his position “isn’t tenable regardless of whether restrictions were broken.”

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Jacob Rees-Mogg backs Keir Starmer (ish) – asked by @afneil on new C4 show whether Starmer should quit if fined by police, JRM says: “I don’t think this is the primary issue of our time… unlike the leader of the opposition, I am consistent in my views.”

— Hugo Gye (@HugoGye) May 8, 2022

Labour’s Lisa Nandy defended the Labour leader on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday accusing the Conservatives of “mudslinging” and stating: “I am absolutely confident that no rules were broken.”

She added: “This is a guy who self-isolated six times during the pandemic.

“I don’t know a single other person who did that.

“He is Mr Rules, he does not break the rules.”

She concluded: “He was the Director of Public Prosecutions, not somebody who goes round tearing up rules when it suits him, in stark contrast to the Prime Minister.”

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William Murphy

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