Dudley South MP Mike Wood said same rules should apply to Labour leader as everyone else.
A Conservative MP has welcomed a decision to re-investigate Sir Keir Starmer over Beergate and said it is important to highlight that rules on gatherings during the Covid pandemic applied to everyone.
Dudley South MP Mike Wood told GB News:
“Well, I think it’s the right decision that Durham police have finally made.
“It’s really important that it’s clear…that the same rules actually do apply to everybody.
“And I think public need to know whether Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner are guilty of quite a lot of hypocrisy over the last few months with what they’ve be saying in Parliament and outside parliament and now really how much they’ve been clamming up when they’ve been asked legitimate questions about what looks a lot like a party in Durham.”
Asked if the results of the investigation could backfire on the Tories, he said:
“It’s difficult to understand at the moment why, Rishi Sunak having a glass of water on the Prime Minister’s birthday in the Cabinet Room in a building he was working in anyway, it was a breach of the regulations, whereas what we assume was a significant number of Labour Party officials, shadow ministers and activists having a curry and a beer at the end of the campaign day, why that wasn’t a breach.”
“It looks at least as serious, so if they do decide their rules were broken. I think people do need – it does need to be explained, ‘OK, so what actually was the difference?’”
“I think that the investigation absolutely should happen. I think it’s taken a lot longer than it should have for Durham police to look at this, again, particularly in the light of the approach that the Met has taken in, in terms of how they’ve been interpreting and what makes up a gathering…
“I think if this was a breach of the rules, as the police and the lawyers understand it, then that needs to be applied evenly and consistently and it doesn’t matter which party you’re from.”
Durham Constabulary had previously said they did not believe the Labour leader had breached Covid-19 rules when he and colleagues drank beer and had a takeaway curry in April 2021, when indoor social gatherings were banned.
However, following mounting pressure and repeated questions over Sir Keir’s version of events, the police will now investigate the claims fully.
Sir Keir was filmed drinking beer with colleagues in the local Labour MP Mary Foy’s Durham office on the night of April 30 last year in the run up to the Hartlepool by-election.
It later emerged the group had taken delivery of a large take-away curry meal and as many as 30 people may have been in attendance.
Sir Keir insisted it was not a breach of the regulations because it was simply a meal break during a work event. However, the revelation that Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner was also present at the event, despite repeated denials by the Labour Party, led to fresh questions over the gathering.