Keir Starmer has been accused by the Conservatives of hypocrisy over ‘Beergate’

Keir Starmer has been accused by the Conservatives of hypocrisy over'Beergate'

Police are investigating whether the Labor leader broke coronavirus regulations (Image: Getty Images)

Keir Starmer has been accused of “hypocrisy” as he faces a police inquiry.

The Labor leader has been reported over footage of him drinking beer with colleagues in April last year.

Durham Constabulary is looking into claims the event breached social distancing regulations in place at the time.

They say “significant new information” spurred the investigation.

Cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi is among the Conservative critics calling for Sir Keir’s resignation.

She told Times Radio: “We must let the police conduct their investigations and that is only right and responsible.

“However, I think the public will be uncomfortable with the hypocrisy. I think he used one of three of his Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) to talk about parties instead of focusing on the cost of living.

“He tweeted himself and said that if you are under investigation, a criminal investigation, you should resign.”

Video capture of Keir Starmer having a beer after campaigning in Durham April 2021

Footage of Sir Keir having a beer in Durham was leaked earlier this year (Image: Unknown)

BARNET, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Labor Party Leader Keir Starmer meets with victorious Labor Councilors at the StoneX Stadium on May 6, 2022 in Barnet, England. Labor took control of the Barnet Council from the Conservatives in yesterday's local elections. Barnet is considered the flagship of the Conservative Council, which has largely been under her control since 1964. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

The Labor leader has denied any wrongdoing at the event (Image: Getty Images)

The so-called “Beergate” inquiry is expected to last up to six weeks and, similar to the response to the No 10’s alleged lockdown violations, those present will have to fill out questionnaires.

Sir Keir supporters say his evening of drinks and curry differed greatly from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s alleged infractions.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting told the BBC he would not “entertain” the prospect of the Labor leader resigning.

He said: “I have absolute confidence and faith that Keir Starmer has done the right thing all along.

A group of police officers walk through Downing Street during a protest outside the gates of Westminster, London. PA photo. Picture date: Wednesday April 13, 2022. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have been fined as part of a police inquiry into allegations of lockdown parties at Downing Street. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Sir Keir called for Boris Johnson to step down following his alleged breach of Covid rules (Image: PA)

FILE PHOTO (EDITORS NOTE: COMPOSITE IMAGES - Image Numbers 1229393262, 1236842782 - GRADIENT ADDED) In ​​this composite image a comparison has been made between Opposition Leader and Labor Leader Keir Starmer (L) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.* **LEFT IMAGE** * LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Keir Starmer, Leader of the opposition Labor Party, speaks to reporters outside the BBC after his appearance on The Andrew Marr Show on October 31, 2020 in London, England. The show aired the day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced England would enter a month-long lockdown to stem a surge in Covid-19 cases. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference after cases of the new Covid-19 variant were confirmed in the UK on November 27 February 2021 in London, England. British authorities today confirmed that two cases of the new variant Omicron Covid-19 have been found in the UK, which has led to a string of travel bans in several countries in southern Africa. (Photo by Hollie Adams - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Labor politicians insist ‘Beergate’ is very different from ‘Partygate’ (Image: Getty Images)

‘He said so all along. He’s someone who practices what he preaches and as I said the police have looked at this before and haven’t found a case to answer.

“We are confident that this will be the case this time. I think the contrast between Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson will be even sharper because I actually think it’s ridiculous, from what we’ve seen Boris Johnson is still there and the Conservative MPs haven’t removed Boris Johnson.

And Welsh shadow secretary Jo Stevens told Times Radio she believes the Beergate furore is a “slander” of Conservatives.

She added that the opposing party had been “seriously damaged by the Prime Minister’s conduct”.

On Friday, Sir Keir told reporters in London he didn’t think the event broke coronavirus rules.

He said he stopped at Durham City MP Mary Foy’s office to “get something to eat” and insisted there was “no party”.

At the time of the apparent gathering, non-essential retail and outdoor spaces, including outdoor dining areas, were open, but social distancing rules, which included a ban on households mixing indoors, remained in place.

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Justin Scacco

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