Starmer and Rayner BOTH vow to resign in high stakes gamble to pressure Boris

SIR KEIR STARMER and Angela Rayner have vowed to resign if they are fined by the police for breaking lockdown rules.

Keir Starmer announces he will step down if fined by police

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The Opposition leader said he will do “the right thing and step down” if found to have broken the law in April 2021. A beer-and-curry gathering in April 2020, organised by Labour, is subject to an inquiry after Sir Keir and his deputy leader had a meal and alcohol indoors with party staff when Covid rules outlawed households mixing indoors.

The Holborn and St Pancras MP has found himself under pressure after he previously demanded Prime Minister Boris Johnson quit after being given a fixed term penalty notice for an illegal gathering in No10.

The Opposition leader said Mr Johnson has lost the trust of the public after being found guilty of breaking Covid regulations and that his position was untenable.

An investigation launched into his own actions left the Labour leader in a precarious situation whereby he risks being accused of hypocrisy if he is fined for breaking the rules himself without then quitting his position.

Since the investigation was launched last Friday he has sought to dodge questions from the media over how he would respond being handed a police fine himself.

READ MORE: Voters remain unconvinced by Starmer’s Brexit promise

Sir Keir Starmer will give a statement at 4pm

Sir Keir Starmer made the announcement in a TV address (Image: SKY)

Taking a major gamble that risks ending his political career, Sir Keir this afternoon vowed he would stand down if given a fixed term penalty.

“I’m absolutely clear that no laws were broken. They were followed at all times,” he said in a televised press conference.

“But if the police decide to issue me with a fixed penalty notice, I would, of course, do the right thing and step down.”

The British public deserves politicians who “put the country first rather than themselves”, he said.

“This matters. It matters because the British public deserve politicians who think the rules apply to them.

“They deserve politicians who hold themselves to the highest standards. And they deserve politicians who put the country first rather than themselves.

READ MORE: Boris won’t quit over Partygate even if ‘hypocrite’ Starmer resigns

The Labor leader's high stakes gamble could end his career

The Labor leader’s high stakes gamble could end his career (Image: PA)

He said the British public deserved MPs who held themselves to the 'highest standards'

He said the British public deserved MPs who held themselves to the ‘highest standards’ (Image: PA)

“They will always, always get that from me.”

Ms Rayner released a statement shortly after Sir Keir’s speech saying that she would also do the “decent thing” and resign if she is fined for breaking lockdown regulations.

She said: “I’ve always been clear that I was at the event in Durham working in my capacity as deputy leader and that no rules were broken.

“Eating during a long day’s work was not against the rules. We have a Prime Minister who has been found to have broken the rules, lied about it and then been fined.


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Boris Johnson faced calls to resign from Sir Keir

Boris Johnson faced calls to resign from Sir Keir (Image: PA)

“If I were issued with a fine, I would do the decent thing and step down.”

Labour insiders say the pair felt they had no other alternative but to put their own careers on the line after their public demands of the Prime Minister.

Sir Keir says the food was consumed between work events, meaning it was within the rules despite the ban on indoor socialising.

Amid the growing pressure on him over the weekend to clarify his position, the former director of public prosecutions last night pulled out of an event taking place at the Institute for Government today.

He also did not attend a memorial service for former MP James Brokenshire at St Margaret’s Church in Westminster, where he was expected join politicians from across the divide including the Prime Minister and Cabinet members.

Some 46 percent of people believe Sir Keir should resign if he is fined by police, according to a YouGov survey of 1,674 adults over the weekend.

That includes 48 percent of those who voted Labour at the last election, which is higher than those who voted Tory, at 40 percent.

It comes after an poll last week found that Britons believed the Opposition leader and Ms Rayner should be fined.

Surveyed even before the police announced their investigation, the TechneUK poll for this website found 67 pecent believe he should receive a fine, compared to 14 percent who believe he should not.

Harry Byrne

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