Keir Starmer should 'consider his position' if given a fine for 'Beergate' says Diane Abbott

Durham Police announced on Friday it was investigating the claims following 'significant new information' into the gathering that took place in Durham Miners’ Hall.

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Labour MP Diane Abbott has stated that Keir Starmer should "consider his position" as head of the Labour Party if he is given a fixed penalty notice for 'Beergate' after Durham Police announced they would investigate Starmer.

Sir Keir Starmer has insisted he is “confident no rules were broken” after it was announced he is to be investigated by police amid allegations that he broke lockdown rules last year.

Durham Constabulary announced on Friday it was investigating the claims following receipt of “significant new information”, having previously said they did not believe an offence had been established.

Diane Abbott speaking during a Stand Up to Racism taking the knee event outside Downing Street.
Diane Abbott speaking during a Stand Up to Racism taking the knee event outside Downing Street.

Speaking to LBC Mrs Abbott said: "If he actually gets a fixed penalty notice he really has to consider his position. I mean, I don't think he will, I think this is a lot of sort of hype built up by the Tory press"

"But if he were to get a fixed penalty notice he would have to consider his position." She said.

At the time of the gathering a ban on indoor mixing between households was in place but outdoor venues including pubs and retail were open.

Sir Keir has repeatedly denied breaching the rules.

The police U-turn follows mounting pressure on the force to re-examine the allegations after footage emerged of the Labour leader drinking a beer with reportedly up to 30 colleagues at a constituency office in Durham in April 2021 during campaigning for the Hartlepool by-election.

Sir Keir previously said no restaurants or pubs were open at the time of the alleged offence, and the hotel he and his colleagues were staying in did not serve food, so “if you didn’t get a takeaway then our team wasn’t eating that evening”.

Conservative MP for North West Durham Richard Holden said the police are doing “exactly the right thing” in investigating potential lockdown breaches involving Sir Keir.