Beergate: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy Angela Rayner cleared of breaking lockdown rules, Durham Police confirm
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Both had previously promised to step down if they were found to have broken the rules during a visit to the city in April 2021, ahead of the Hartlepool by-election.Sir Keir was videoed drinking a bottle of beer over a takeaway curry with colleagues in the offices of Mary Foy MP.It later emerged Ms Rayner was also at the gathering, dubbed ‘beergate’ by some.
Durham Police said Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner have not been issued with fixed penalty notices over allegations they broke coronavirus rules during campaigning for the local elections in April 2021.A Durham Police statement said: “’Following the emergence of significant new information, an investigation was launched by Durham Constabulary into a gathering at the Miners’ Hall, in Redhills, Durham on April 30, 2021.
‘That investigation has now concluded.‘A substantial amount of documentary and witness evidence was obtained which identified the 17 participants and their activities during that gathering. Following the application of the evidential Full Code Test, it has been concluded that there is no case to answer for a contravention of the regulations, due to the application of an exception, namely reasonably necessary work.‘Accordingly, Durham Constabulary will not be issuing any fixed penalty notices in respect of the gathering and no further action will be taken.‘The investigation has been thorough, detailed and proportionate. The final evidence supplied by participants from the local constituency was returned to Durham Police on July 5 and analysed by investigators against all the evidence before the investigation was concluded on July 8, 2022.
‘In line with established national policing guidelines, we will not name or otherwise identify any of those present at the gathering, all of whom have been informed of the investigation outcome by their legal representatives.’
A Labour Party spokeswoman added: ‘Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have always been clear that no rules were broken in Durham.‘The police have completed their investigation and have agreed saying that there is no case to answer.’