Keir Starmer’s feedback come as police reopen a probe into whether or not a gathering in Durham breached lockdown guidelines.
The chief of the UK’s primary opposition Labour Get together, Keir Starmer, has promised to step down if police wonderful him for breaching coronavirus pandemic legal guidelines by ingesting beer and consuming curry with activists.
“If the police determine to situation me with a set penalty discover, I might, in fact, do the best factor and step down,” he advised a information convention on Monday, and insisted: “I’m completely clear that no legal guidelines have been damaged.”
The gathering happened in Durham, northeast England, in April final 12 months, with a video later rising of Starmer ingesting beer and consuming a takeaway meal inside a marketing campaign workplace with get together colleagues.
Starmer, a lawyer and former chief prosecutor for England and Wales, has repeatedly insisted it didn’t contravene guidelines in opposition to indoor gatherings since he was working.
On the weekend, one in every of his prime crew described him as “Mr Guidelines” and on Monday he mentioned he had self-isolated six occasions as a consequence of COVID-19.
“I did it as a result of we adopted the foundations. The concept that I might then casually break these guidelines is flawed,” he mentioned.
Police on Friday mentioned they have been reopening a probe into whether or not it breached lockdown guidelines, weeks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was himself fined for breaking COVID-19 restrictions.
Starmer mentioned the distinction between him and Johnson was that the prime minister has “been discovered to be in breach” of the legislation.
“I feel [there are] over 50 fines now in relation to Downing Road. And the prime minister has not stepped down,” Starmer mentioned.
“He and others in his get together need the general public to consider that we’re all the identical, that we’ll all act in that method. I’m right here to clarify that’s not the case.”
Durham police appeared into the occasion on the time and concluded that “no offence had been established”, however reopened the investigation “following the receipt of serious new info over current days”.
That announcement got here a day after native elections, by which Johnson’s Conservative Get together suffered losses.
The prime minister and Finance Minister Rishi Sunak each obtained fines for attending a gathering in Johnson’s workplace to have a good time his birthday in 2020.
London police are nonetheless investigating different potential breaches of the legislation by Johnson, who had beforehand denied breaking the foundations he set for everybody else.
When it emerged that Johnson was below police investigation, Starmer referred to as it a “mark of disgrace” and demanded the prime minister resign.
“Even now he’s hiding behind a police investigation into criminality into his dwelling and his workplace,” Starmer advised MPs in January.