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Durham Police investigating claims Sir Keir broke Covid lockdown rules

SIR KEIR STARMER is being investigated by Durham Police into claims he broke Covid lockdown rules, the force confirmed today.

A fresh probe has been launched into the the Labour leader after Durham Constabulary said that it was in receipt of “significant new information.”

Sir Keir has come under pressure since footage emerged of him drinking a beer with colleagues in April 2021 in Durham Miners Hall during campaigning for the Hartlepool by-election.

A changing story from Labour is thought to be part of the reason for the change in police thinking. Labour initially claimed deputy leader Angela Rayner had not been present, but then admitted that she was.

At the time of the alleged 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.

A statement from the police said: “Earlier this year, Durham Constabulary carried out an assessment as to whether Covid-19 regulations had been breached at a gathering in Durham City on April 30 2021.

“At that time, it was concluded that no offence had been established and therefore no further action would be taken.

“Following the receipt of significant new information over recent days, Durham Constabulary has reviewed that position and now, following the conclusion of the pre-election period, we can confirm that an investigation into potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations relating to this gathering is now being conducted.”

Police officials had previously said that they did not believe “an offence has been established in relation to the legislation and guidance in place at that time and will therefore take no further action in relation to this matter.”

A spokesman said earlier this month: “We received a number of recent communications on this subject which we are considering and will respond in due course.”

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “We’re obviously happy to answer any questions there are and we remain clear that no rules were broken.”

The investigation into whether lockdown rules were broken by Sir Keir will be similar to that which Durham Constabulary held into Dominic Cummings in 2020, when the then top aide to PM Boris Johnson drove from London to the north-east of England despite strict lockdown rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are among those to have already been fined for breaking Covid laws.

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