Keir Starmer announces he will step down if fined by police
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Sir Keir has promised he would step down if he is fined following Durham Police’s investigation into his lockdown beer and takeaway event in April last year. His deputy Angela Rayner, who also attended the event, said she would resign if found to be in breach of restrictions.
The Labour leaders are under investigation over a gathering in April 2021 in the Durham office of Labour MP Mary Foy, when most indoor socialising was banned.
In a press conference on Monday, May 9, Sir Keir said he “simply had something to eat whilst working late in the evening, as any politician would do days before an election”.
Speaking at party headquarters in London, he said: “I believe in honour, integrity and the principle that those who make the rules must follow them.”
Sir Keir said he was determined to prove he had “different principles to the Prime Minister”.
The Labour leader said: “The idea that I would casually break the rules is wrong. I don’t think those who are accusing me of it believe it themselves… They are trying to say all politicians are the same.”
He added: “If the police decide to issue me with a fixed penalty notice, I would of course do the right thing and step down… The British public deserve politicians who think the rules apply to them.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak have already been issued with fixed-penalty notices by the Metropolitan Police for breaching lockdown rules at a Downing Street party.
Following this, Sir Keir had called on both Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak to step down.
He tweeted: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have broken the law and repeatedly lied to the British public.
“They must both resign. The Conservatives are totally unfit to govern. Britain deserves better.”
Sir Keir said that it has been entirely his decision and that he was not under pressure to make the declaration.
He said: “This is my decision about what is the right thing to do in these circumstances.”
“This is about me. It’s about what I believe in politics. It’s about integrity, and I believe in integrity, and integrity requires me to take the course of action I have set out if, in the event, I get a fixed penalty notice.”
Ms Rayner issued her own statement on Monday afternoon stating that she would also resign if found to have broken rules.
She said: “I’ve always been clear that I was at the event in Durham working in my capacity as deputy leader and that no rules were broken. Eating during a long day’s work was not against the rules.
“We have a Prime Minister who has been found to have broken the rules, lied about it and then been fined. If I were issued with a fine, I would do the decent thing and step down.”
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