Keir Starmer confirmed that Durham Police did not contact him for a beer and takeaway with staff at a constituency office last year, as he said he was always “very careful” to comply with the lockdown rules.
The Labor leader gave his first full explanation of what happened overnight in April last year, after days of Daily Mail coverage and Tory MPs urging police to investigate the incident.
Asked if the police had been in contact with him, Starmer replied: “No, I think they put out a statement last week saying they’re not reinvestigating and they’re not telling me. not spoken.”
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain there was no breach of the rules when he shared a meal with staff after the campaign and while they worked late.
“We are on the road. At the end of the day, we are in the office getting ready,” he said. “Now that night, from memory, we were doing an online event for members…At one point it was in the evening, everyone is hungry and a takeaway was ordered.
“It was then delivered to the office kitchen… In Durham all the restaurants and pubs were closed so takeaway was really the only way to eat. So it was brought in and at various times people went to the kitchen and ate something, and went on with their work.
He added: “We were very careful to follow the rules… and we did that within my family. My wife’s father is very old and had to protect himself in difficult circumstances which I won’t discuss. My wife went to sit on the sidewalk in front of her house, all she wanted to do, like many families, was she wanted to come in and clean up and she didn’t because the rules wouldn’t allow it. So I know how it feels.
Starmer has previously accused the Tories of ‘disparaging’ their allegations that he broke Covid rules, in order to distract from the Prime Minister’s own breach of the law, for which he received a fixed penalty notice.
Johnson paid a fine for attending her birthday party in June 2020 and is still being investigated over her alleged attendance at several other parties.
Footage has emerged of the Labor leader drinking a beer with colleagues in April 2021 while coronavirus restrictions were in place. In February, Durham Police confirmed they did not believe an offense had been committed.
A force spokesman said at the time: ‘Durham Constabulary have reviewed video footage recorded in Durham on 30 April 2021. We do not believe that any breach has been established against the legislation and guidelines in force at that time and will therefore take no further action regarding this matter.
The force later confirmed that it was not reviewing.