‘Quiet weekend?’ Boris Johnson tries to taunt Keir Starmer over Beergate

PM and Starmer engaged in small talk ahead of Queen’s Speech

Adam Forrest
Tuesday 10 May 2022 18:00 BST
'Quiet weekend?': Johnson tries to taunt Starmer over Beergate

Boris Johnson appeared to taunt Sir Keir Starmer over the so-called Beergate saga as they walked into the Lords together for the Queen’s Speech.

The PM smirked and asked the Labour leader if he had a “quiet weekend” – an apparent reference to renewed pressure on Starmer over the beer and curry he consumed with Labour staff last April.

Sir Keir smiled before the pair engaged very briefing in small talk as they walked side by side in a procession of MPs in the chamber.

Conservative MPs later jeered at Starmer over the Durham Police probe into the takeaway meal eaten during Covid restrictions – with one Tory backbencher joking that the Labour leader was suffering from “karma”.

Graham Stuart put the boot into over the Durham Police probe into the takeaway curry eaten at event last April – telling Starmer “the only thing opening up for him in the north is a police investigation”.

The Tory MP also joked that “never in the history of human conflict has so much karma come from a korma” – prompting further laughter from the Tory benches.

It comes after Sir Keir said on Monday he will do the “right thing” and quit if he is issued with a fixed penalty notice in relation to a gathering in Labour offices, as he again denied breaking any rules.

At the weekend, the Mail on Sunday published a leaked memo indicating the dinner had been planned as part of Sir Keir’s itinerary for a day of campaigning, and no further work was scheduled afterwards.

Earlier on Tuesday, Home Office minister Kit Malthouse said that if Sir Keir did resign, it would not mean Johnson should do the same. “I don’t see why anybody, be they so high or so humble, should lose their job,” he told GB News.

Tory MPs jeer at Keir Starmer over police probe

In his response to the Queen’s Speech, Starmer congratulated Johnson on becoming the “first resident of Downing Street” to be resident of a Labour council, after the Tories lost Westminster at the local elections.

Sir Keir choose not to mention Partygate in the Commons, but accused Johnson of delivering a “pathetic” response to the cost-of-living crisis by presenting a “thin” legislative agenda to parliament.

Johnson attempted to mock Starmer by referring to him as the “leader of the opposition of the moment” and referred to Labour MPs as “great quivering jellies of indecision” when it comes to nuclear energy.

Meanwhile, in post-Queen’s Speech comments, Conservative Fay Jones welcomed the Online Safety Bill “which will protect the unsuspecting farmer from nefarious internet videos” – a joke about departing Tory MP Neil Parish being caught watching porn.

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