Frustrated Keir Starmer slams Tory over lockdown beer and Angela Rayner as a ‘mud fight’

The Labor leader admitted his office made a “mistake” with Angela Rayner there while he was having a lockdown beer. However, as new claims emerged about Ms Rayner’s legs and a ‘pact’ in local elections, he accused Tories of ‘throwing mud’ to distract from the cost of living crisis

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Keir Starmer says Tories are trying to throw mud around

Frustrated Keir Starmer slammed Tory today over his lockdown beer, election pacts and Angela Rayner “mud slinging”.

The Labor leader accused the Conservatives of “throwing mud” to distract from their failure to resolve the cost of living ahead of Thursday’s local elections.

Today Sir Keir admitted his office made a “mistake” by falsely claiming his deputy Angela Rayner was not there the night he had a pint during the Durham election campaign on April 30, 2021 been.

But he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “We were in the office, we were working, we were taking a break to eat. There was no party, no rules were broken, and that’s the long and short of it. Durham Police looked at it and decided there was absolutely nothing wrong.

“We have an election on Thursday and there are only Tory MPs trying to throw mud around because they have nothing to say on the central issue, the cost of living.”

Keir Starmer was infamously filmed through the window in Durham



Covid laws at the time banned indoor gatherings of different households, but exempted gatherings “reasonably necessary for work”.

The Labor leader insisted: “We just made a mistake, it’s a real mistake.

“I don’t think anyone would seriously say that Keir Starmer’s team would lie to the media about this. We made a mistake.” He continued, “From time to time a mistake is made, it was a real mistake and I take responsibility for that.”

It came as the Mail on Sunday accused Ms Rayner of being the person who originally told a joke about crossing and uncrossing her legs to distract Boris Johnson on PMQs, like Sharon Stone in the film Basic Instinct.

Ms Rayner had dismissed the original story as “desperate, perverted smears”.

Labor has not disputed the Mail’s claim that she made a light-hearted reference to her “ginger g***er” to MPs on the terrace of the House of Commons.

Angela Rayner slammed an article claiming she spreads her legs at PMQs to distract the PM



But sources have hit back at the original wording of the Mail’s claim – that Ms Rayner uncrossed her legs as a deliberate trick. A Labor source said: “The heinous suggestion that Angela Rayner initiated the sexist slurs that were made against her must be some kind of sick joke.”

And when she referenced the “Basic Instinct” claims on a public podcast in January, she said she was “shamed” and they had a “tint” of misogyny.

The Daily Mail itself appeared to be the first public airing of the Basic Instinct — with an article by columnist Amanda Platell on Jan. 7, more than two weeks before the podcast.

The article said: ” Wearing a chic dress that showed off her thighs, the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party channeled her inner Sharon Stone. Boris has always had a trend for women with primal instincts.”

Meanwhile, Sir Keir has dismissed claims by Tory leader Oliver Dowden that Labor was stitching up a local elections “pact” with the Lib Dems which he “had tried to hide from voters”.

Mr Dowden said Labor was running for 61% of the seats in the South West this Thursday, down from 97% in 2018, while in the North East Lib Dems were running for 56% of the seats, down from 78%.

The Labor leader insisted: “There is no pact, everyone knows there is no pact.” He added: “I think, and I will be happy to have that checked, that we are running more Labor candidates in this election than ever before.

Keir Starmer dismissed Tory leader Oliver Dowden’s claims that Labor had struck a “pact” for local elections.

“I remember a statistic in the back of my mind. But I’m pretty sure we have more candidates out there than we’ve ever fielded before.”

A Labor source said the party is always careful about where to invest money and resources in areas where there is little chance of success. Lib Dem leader Ed Davey added: “There is no pact now, there will be no pact in the future.”

The Labor leader fumed: “All we have from Government is a mud fight left, right and centre, whether it’s Angela Rayner, whether it’s Oliver Dowden talking about pacts.

“Why don’t they talk about the essentials – everyone knows people are anxious about paying their bills. What does the government say about this? Absolutely nothing.”

It came as Tony Blair made a comeback to the official Labor campaign in a partisan program 25 years after his 1997 election victory.

Tony Blair outside 10 Downing Street after the Labor Party won the 1997 general election


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The video features Sir Tony praising Sir Keir’s “strength, determination and intelligence” and saying: “He knows that a Labor Party that stays true to its principles is a Labor Party committed to power for our country to change back for the better.”

Sir Keir – who said after the 2019 election that Labor should not “override” Jeremy Corbyn’s policies – said the support was “very valuable and further shows how much work we’ve done over the last two years, the change that we did.”

He insisted: “I’m not going to hug any past Labor leader because I don’t believe you go backwards to go forward. I will learn from every Labor leader, I will speak to every Labor leader because Tony Blair won three elections.”

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