Arlene Foster slams Keir Starmer for putting 'enormous pressure' on Durham police

Ms Foster believes Sir Keir could have waited until “the end of the investigation” to say that he would step down if given a fixed penalty notice

Published Last updated

Arlene Foster has hit out at Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer for putting an “enormous amount of pressure” on Durham police over the Beergate investigation.

Ms Foster believes Sir Keir could have waited until “the end of the investigation” to say he would step down if given a fixed penalty notice by police for his role in Beergate.

Speaking on GB News’ Brazier, the former First Minister of Northern Ireland said: “He is a former lawyer, he is a former head of the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions), he used to be the legal adviser to the Northern Ireland policing board when I sat on it.

Arlene Foster has hit out at Sir Keir Starmer
Arlene Foster has hit out at Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir has said he will step down if he receives a fine from Durham Police
Sir Keir has said he will step down if he receives a fine from Durham Police

“So he has this reputation as a lawyer and one that sticks by the rules, and he is saying that, if he gets a fixed penalty notice, he will go.

“But I have to say, I think it’s put an inordinate amount of pressure on the police service in Durham.

“He could have done this at the end of the investigation, when the outcome was known.”

Her comments come after Sir Keir confirmed he is committed to step down as Labour leader if he is fined by police over an allegation he broke coronavirus laws.

Speaking outside Labour's London headquarters, he said: “I believe in honour, integrity and the principle that those who make the laws must follow them and I believe that politicians who undermine that principle, undermine trust in politics, undermine our democracy and undermine Britain.

“I’m absolutely clear that no laws were broken, they were followed at all times, I simply had something to eat while working late in the evening as any politician would do days before an election.

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