Labour Leader Starmer Reportedly Tells Colleagues He'll Resign if Fined Over 'Beergate'
14:43 GMT 07.05.2022 (Updated: 15:19 GMT 28.05.2023)
© AP Photo / Alastair GrantLeader of the British Labour Party Keir Starmer gestures as he makes his keynote speech at the annual party conference in Brighton, England, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021
© AP Photo / Alastair Grant
Earlier this year, the politician vociferously called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to step down after he was subject to a criminal investigation amid the "partygate" storm.
Keir Starmer has told colleagues that he will resign if Durham police fine him over an alleged breach of coronavirus lockdown rules, according to the Guido Fawkes website quoting sources familiar with the matter.
Starmer, who is reported to be "extremely worried" of what has been dubbed “beergate”, has tasked Charlie Falconer with assembling a legal defence, with Labour lawyers estimating the leader has a 60% chance to avoid a fine.
Nonetheless, a Labour insider told the website that "They’re sh**ting themselves. He [Starmer] has told people he will have to go if he’s fined (…) He’s put his fate in the hands of the police and lawyers now."
Despite Starmer being reportedly concerned about the outcome, the Labour Party is confident that no lockdown rules were broken when its leader was photographed drinking beer with his staffers in April 2021.
While Durham police earlier found that no violation had occurred, it re-launched the investigation after new important information emerged. Authorities have not disclosed further details about this new information.
Labour Shadow Health Minister Wes Streeting has blasted the investigation as a "desperate attempt by the Conservatives to muddy together events that were a year apart.” The Labour Party continues to insist that Starmer’s case is very different from that of the embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently under a parliamentary investigation into whether he lied to MPs about his role in lockdown parties in Downing Street.
Accusing the PM of being dishonest about his participation in the multiple parties, Starmer called Johnson "a man without shame" – an accusation which is currently being thrown back at him, with critics blasting the Labour leader for hypocrisy.
The "beergate" investigation is set to continue for around six weeks.