Beergate questionnaires sent to Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner ‘are incredibly comprehensive’ and ‘ask about football shirt he was given’
- Durham police are probing an alleged Covid lockdown breach by Keir Starmer
- Sir Keir was pictured through a window drinking a beer while in the city last year
- Labour confirmed the two senior party figures have been handed questionnaires
- Both have denied wrongdoing and vowed to resign if given Fixed Penalty Notice
Police questionnaires over the Beergate row are ‘incredibly comprehensive’ and ask about a football shirt presented to Keir Starmer, it was claimed today.
Labour confirmed that Durham police have given Sir Keir and his deputy Angela Rayner forms to fill out as part of the inquiry into alleged lockdown breaches.
Both politicians have denied wrongdoing over the gathering with aides during the local election campaign in April last year, but have pledged to stand down if they are fined.
The questionnaires – sent to around 15 people – are said to be lengthy and extremely detailed. They ask about a Consett AFC football shirt given to Sir Keir on the night, according to The Times.
The scandal broke after the Labour leader was photographed swigging a beer in an MP’s office last year following a day of campaigning in the local elections.
Police initially refused to investigate, but later announced a U-turn after a string of revelations by the Daily Mail about what had really happened at Durham Miners Hall.
Sir Keir Starmer was filmed sipping beer at a boozy curry in Durham in April last year – an event that is now being investigated by police over alleged Covid rule-breaking
Sir Keir was at the Platinum Jubilee service for the Queen in London today
The row was fuelled because Labour initially denied that deputy Angela Rayner (pictured last week) was present for the curry, before admitting she had been
Despite denials stretching back three months, it emerged that Ms Rayner had also been present, along with Durham MP Mary Foy.
It has also emerged that the group of around 20 people shared a £200 curry at a time when buffet-style meals were banned.
Labour has so far failed to release any evidence that Sir Keir and others continued to work after the curry gathering at 10pm on a Friday.
It later emerged that Sir Keir took time out to pose for a photograph and discuss a forthcoming football match during the evening.
The revelations prompted a complaint from Tory MP Richard Holden, who wrote to police demanding an inquiry.
At the time of the Durham gathering, non-essential retail and outdoor venues including pub gardens were open, but social distancing rules – which included a ban on indoor mixing between households – remained in place.
Separate non-binding guidance on election campaigning stated: ‘You should not meet with other campaigners indoors.’
Labour has argued that the beer and curry were consumed either side of work events, meaning that the gathering was within the rules.
Sir Keir has previously said he ‘put everything on the line’ by promising to quit if he receives a fixed penalty notice.
He repeatedly called for Boris Johnson to stand down over a fine for a Partygate lockdown breach in June 2020.
However, Labour former chief whip Nick Brown suggested over the weekend that Sir Keir could resign and then run for the leadership again in order to fight the next election.
Boris Johnson was fined over his birthday celebration in Downing Street in June 2020
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