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Keir Starmer’s ‘honor and integrity’ as he vows to quit if fined over Beergate

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Keir Starmer has launched a dramatic fight against ‘Beergate’ by vowing to quit if he’s fined by Durham Police.

In a risky move, the Labor leader linked his future to the fate of the police investigation launched by detectives last week.

The former chief prosecutor stressed he was “very clear” that no rules had been broken last April when up to 15 staffers ate curry and drank beer during the election campaign.

But he added: “Of course, if the police issued me with a fine, I would do the right thing and resign.”

His deputy, Angela Rayner, who was also at the scene, said she would “do the right thing” and resign if she received a fine.

The dramatic move puts pressure on the PM, who has refused to quit despite being fined by the Met Police for breaking lockdown laws.







The Labor leader has vowed to quit if he is fined over Beergate
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Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

Hannah Brady, spokeswoman for Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: “This is the right decision by Keir Starmer and, unlike Boris Johnson, shows integrity, decency and respect for the bereaved.”

In an interview with the Mirror last night, Mr Starmer stated that no rules had been broken.

“I know what we did and of course I looked at the regulations. We worked. We ate,” he said.

“Five days before an election, when you have a team there, that’s part of the working day.”

He added: “Basically, it is very important to me that we have honor, integrity and accountability in politics.

“It’s about who I am, the integrity I have and the integrity I want to see in politics.







Mirror’s Pippa Crerar interviews Sir Keir Starmer
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Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

“The Tories want to drag everyone down to argue that everyone is equal because the Prime Minister won’t do the right thing even though he broke the law.

“I think it’s very important to make it clear that not all politicians are the same.”

However, Mr Starmer indicated he would only resign if he was actually fined by Durham Police.

“The penalty for breaking the Covid rules is a fixed penalty notice,” he said.

“We know that from everything that happened at Downing Street.”

It gives him a loophole in the event officers conclude the assembly was a minor violation but do not issue an FPN.

Mr Starmer suggested not challenging a fine in court: “Police must investigate. If they issue an FPN, the right thing I will do is resign.”

The Labor leader and his supporters spent hours debating whether he would promise to quit.

The Mirror understands the force only contacted his office yesterday.

But he claimed the move was inevitable since Durham Police announced they were investigating.

“It’s a matter of principle and it was always a decision I wanted to make. It should always be like this,” he said.







Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner
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itv)

The former top lawyer said it was “pretty clear” that the Tories were “putting pressure” on the police to revisit the gathering ahead of Election Day.

But he added that it was “ridiculous” for government insiders to suggest he was now doing the same after Tory MPs urged him to resign.

“If you still don’t understand what integrity means, I’m sure you’re further down the slippery slope than any of us ever thought,” he said.

The Labor leader had faced mounting allegations over the campaign, when indoor gatherings were banned, but with exceptions for work purposes.

Mr Starmer insisted he went back to work after briefly eating – which was within the rules.

“I worked all the time. The next day I had a busy schedule. When you’re campaigning as Labor leader, you’re working all the time.






Boris Johnson refuses to step down

“It’s nothing special this evening, it happens when you’re out campaigning, you work around the clock.”

Labor is ready to hand Durham Police a dossier of evidence, including time-stamped transcripts of WhatsApp chats, documents and video edits, to show Mr Starmer’s team worked past 1am.

He claimed the operating notice leaked over the weekend showed it was “absolutely clear” he had been working.

“Who ordered the curry wasn’t really my responsibility. I work, the food comes.

“Any politician who has been on the road knows that someone on the team is responsible for ensuring that there is a meal.”







Mr Starmer insisted he got back to work after a brief break for lunch
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@PoliticsForUK/Twitter)

He denied reports that local MP Mary Foy and some of her staff were drinking heavily at the event.

“No. My team worked. They all worked in the office,” he said.

He claimed the failure to disclose that Ms Rayner was also present was a “real mistake” by his office.

But Mr Starmer said he had no regrets asking Mr Johnson to resign before he was fined.

“He had flatly denied on the shipping box that anything had happened at all,” he said.

“He was not directly with Parliament. That was one of the reasons I asked him to leave.

“He should stop. I don’t think he will. I don’t think he has any integrity.”

And he insisted he would continue to hold the government accountable over the Partygate scandal.

“Absolutely. I hold myself to the high standards that I believe Boris Johnson should be held to.”

But he admitted he was frustrated that the Beergate dispute overshadowed Labor local election results and focus on the cost of living crisis.

“I’m frustrated that a very good set of results for us haven’t gotten the attention they should have gotten because of these swabs.







Mr Starmer admitted his own family had to make “agonizing decisions” about the lockdown
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REUTERS)

“I am angry on behalf of my teams who worked so hard to achieve these election results.”

He added: “The number one problem wherever you go in the UK is ‘how can I pay my bills?’.

“The government has been a pathetic failure, making a bad situation worse by taxing people in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.”

Mr Starmer admitted his own family – like millions of others – have had to make “agonizing decisions” about the lockdown.

“The idea that I would just break the rules after following them so carefully is not true.”

He added: “My family understands firsthand what so many families have been through.

“It was very difficult because my wife’s mother suddenly died under terrible circumstances.

“When lockdown came my wife had to sit on the pavement outside her father’s house because she didn’t want to break the rules.

“Then she tossed and turned at night because she felt guilty that she hadn’t done the right thing for her father.”

He denied “claiming a special case” as countless other families have had to make difficult decisions, often involving an elderly relative or child, in order to stick to the rules.

A YouGov poll found 46% of voters thought the Labor leader should resign if he is fined for lockdown breaches.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/keir-starmers-honour-integrity-vows-26919223 Keir Starmer's 'honor and integrity' as he vows to quit if fined over Beergate

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