Rayner was with Starmer during lockdown beers, Labour admits

The party said its previous claims that the deputy leader was not present were a ‘genuine mistake’, and it insisted no Covid rules were broken

Gavin Cordon
Friday 29 April 2022 09:59
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner were both at the event in April 2021 (Danny Lawson/PA)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner were both at the event in April 2021 (Danny Lawson/PA)

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner was present when Sir Keir Starmer was caught on video drinking a beer with party workers during lockdown, the party has said.

The party acknowledged it had previously told journalists she was not at the event last year, but a source insisted it was a “mistake made in good faith”.

A Labour spokesman said no Covid rules had been broken at the gathering, which took place in the Durham constituency office of the local MP.

Tory MPs have been pressing police to reconsider their decision not investigate the event following the fine issued to Boris Johnson for attending a birthday gathering in No 10.

Durham Police confirmed they have received “a number of further communications” which they will be responding to, but said they are not currently investigating the matter.

Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner at the launch of Labour’s local election campaign in Bury, Greater Manchester, last month (Danny Lawson/PA)

The gathering – which included an online Labour Party event – took place on April 30 last year in the constituency office of the City of Durham MP Mary Foy.

The Daily Mail reported that when its reporters approached party officials in January, they had been told Ms Rayner was not present.

However after it produced video evidence that she had joined Sir Keir at the gathering, they admitted she had been there.

A Labour source told the PA news agency it had been a “genuine mistake”, while a spokesman said there was “no comparison” with the parties which took place in No 10 and Whitehall.

He said: “Keir Starmer was in the workplace, meeting a local MP in her constituency office and participating in an online Labour Party event.

“They paused for food as the meeting was during the evening. No rules were broken.

“There is simply no comparison between standing in a kitchen having something to eat between meetings, with multiple, flagrant rule breaking drinks parties at the heart of Government, dismissed by lies at the despatch box and resulting in an apology to the Queen.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in