Tory MPs call on Scotland Yard to investigate Keir Starmer’s lockdown beer as heat intensifies on Boris Johnson over partygate
- Conservative MPs last night demanded Met Police investigate Sir Keir Starmer
- Labour leader pictured drinking with colleagues before last year’s local election
- Sir Keir said there was ‘no comparison’ with his actions and Prime Minister’s
Conservative MPs last night demanded the Met Police investigate Sir Keir Starmer over his ‘beer party’ last April.
The Labour leader was pictured drinking indoors with colleagues just before last year’s local elections, while Covid restrictions were in place.
David Morris, Tory MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, told the Commons there was ‘no difference’ between what Boris Johnson and Sir Keir had been accused of.
And Alexander Stafford, Tory MP for Rother Valley, said there should be no ‘hypocrisy’ and that ‘all sides need to be investigated’.
He told MPs: ‘Those in glass houses should not throw beer bottles.’
The Labour leader was pictured drinking indoors with colleagues just before last year’s local elections
Sir Keir was pictured drinking a bottle of beer in a Durham constituency office with other Labour campaigners in April last year, days before the local elections.
At the time, England was in ‘step two’ of the roadmap out of lockdown – when indoor socialising with people from outside the household was banned.
Sir Keir has said there was ‘no comparison’ with his actions and the Prime Minister’s attendance at an event in the Downing Street garden where 100 had been invited to ‘bring your own booze’.
But he still faces questions over why it is fine for him to have a drink at a work event, when this is one of the accusations levelled at No 10.
The Conservative MPs spoke out following an urgent question on the latest No 10 party revelations, answered by Paymaster General Michael Ellis.
Mr Morris said: ‘Would the Paymaster General consider the Metropolitan Police, or any other police force, looking into the activities of the Leader of the Opposition with his beer party? As far as I can see there is no difference. What does he say to that?’ Mr Ellis said the MP had made an ‘interesting point’.
‘Of course, police investigations and how they are conducted are operationally independent,’ he said. ‘I am sure that they will have heard what he said.’
Mr Stafford said: ‘I know that I myself, colleagues and constituents were shocked by the alleged lockdown rule breaking by none other than the Leader of the Opposition.’
Sir Keir has said there was ‘no comparison’ with his actions and the Prime Minister’s attendance at an event in the Downing Street garden
He added: ‘Does the minister agree that there can be no hypocrisy and that all sides need to be investigated? After all, those in glass houses should not throw beer bottles.’
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle intervened to question the use of the word ‘hypocrisy’.
But Mr Ellis said: ‘Nothing in the law forbade people who were legitimately at work from having a ten-minute coffee break in between meetings, and I am sure that people across the country did that, whether they ate cake with it or not. The reality of the matter is that my honourable friend’s point is completely accurate.’
And Tory MP Mark Jenkinson said the Labour Party was in ‘cahoots’ with sections of the media to ‘undemocratically depose this Prime Minister not because he is an electoral liability for us, but because he is an electoral liability for them’.
The Paymaster General replied: ‘One has to wonder. The Labour Party’s focus on gatherings two years ago, as alleged, rather than on Ukraine and the Russian troops massing on the border of Europe, is quite extraordinary.’
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