August 19, 2022

If he is fined, he will resign

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer has said he will stand down as party leader if he is found to have broken lockdown rules.

It comes after days of mounting pressure on Sir Keir to announce whether he would leave his job if issued with a fixed penalty notice by Durham Police for sharing a curry and beer with Labour staff on the campaign trail last April.

Speaking in Central London on Monday afternoon Sir Keir said “We all found the rules exhausting at times,

“The idea that I would then casually break those rules, is wrong.

“If the police issue me with a fixed penalty notice, I would do the right thing and step down”.

“No rules were broken,” he said. “I’ve set out the principled decision I believe in

“If you’ve made a law you should respect the law. If you’re found to be in breach of it you should step down”.

On Monday, the Labour leader cancelled all of his scheduled diary meetings, including a speech to the Institute for Government think tank and his planned appearance at a memorial event for James Brokenshire, the former Tory MP.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said the cancellations were not an indication that Sir Keir was “dodging” scrutiny, telling the BBC the Labour leader is a man of “decency and honesty”.

Meanwhile, the Tories accused Sir Keir of double standards, arguing his “relentless” calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to resign over attending Downing Street lockdown events were hypocritical.

Other critics pointed to a tweet posted by the Labour leader in January of this year, in which he said the Prime Minister should resign after the Met police launched a criminal investigation into potential breaches of Covid legislation.

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Prior to Monday, Sir Keir had not offered his resignation, despite being under investigation by Durham police.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Keir was working. A takeaway was made available in the kitchen, and he ate between work demands. No rules were broken.”

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