What has Sir Keir Starmer done? Inside Beergate claims

9 May 2022, 11:16

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer is facing fresh claims he broke lockdown rules. Picture: Alamy

By Zoe Adams

The Labour leader is currently facing controversy after he was pictured holding a beer during a gathering with colleagues during the coronavirus lockdown.

Keir Starmer is currently facing a huge amount of backlash, with calls of him quitting, after it emerged he could have possibly broken the strict coronavirus lockdown rules last year.

Labelled 'Beergate', the leader of the Labour party has also faced growing criticism from his fellow MPs after Durham Constabulary confirmed it was reinvestigating claims he broke the strict rules put in place.

Sir Kir, 59, has responded and said he is confident he hadn't broken any Covid rules.

Related article: Rattled Starmer pulls out of major speech amid Beergate 'hypocrisy' claims

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So what exactly has Sir Keir done and why is he being investigated? Here's the latest on Beergate claims:

The Labour party leader Keir Starmer
The Labour party leader has denied he broke lockdown rules in 2021. Picture: Alamy

What has Sir Keir Starmer done? And what is Beergate?

Durham police have confirmed they're investigating claims the labour leader drank beer with fellow MPs in an office on April 30, 2021, a time when he would have been breaking Covid rules for an indoor gathering.

Pictures showed Sir Keir holding a bottle of beer and eating a takeaway in an office in Durham with fellow party MPs.

Claims were originally shut down when pictures were released last year, but the force has said 'significant new information' has come to light.

What has Sir Keir Starmer said about Beergate?

Sir Keir, has maintained he doesn't believe he broke any lockdown rules during the reported incident.

They said after a day campaigning and an evening at work in the office, they shared a drink and takeaway. At the time, the rules stated indoor gatherings were allowed for "work purposes" and that food could be consumed together if "reasonably necessary for work".

Starmer has claimed if they did not get a takeaway, no one would be eating that night as restaurants were closed and the hotel they were staying in wasn't serving food.

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak leaving Downing Street no.10
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have also been fined for breaking lockdown rules. Picture: Alamy

What is the new evidence in Beergate?

Some inconsistencies have emerged between Labour's original defence and new evidence.

Tory MPS and other newspapers have claimed the gathering was more social than for work purposes.

Since the claims last time, labour has admitted Angela Rayner was present, when they originally said she wasn't.

The takeaway bill also suggests the gathering was quite large and an unnamed source has claimed Sir Keir did not return to work after, like he claims.