The Labour Party last night admitted its deputy leader was at the gathering on April 30 2021 in Durham. It comes after the party had previously repeatedly rejected claims the Aston-under-Lyne MP was also involved when lockdown rules were allegedly broken.
There is growing pressure on the police to reopen an investigation into whether Sir Keir Starmer broke Covid rules while campaigning in the city in the run up to the local elections last year.
Video footage shows the Labour leader sipping from a bottle of beer indoors in the constituency office of MP City of Durham MP Mary Foy.
At the time, Covid restrictions banned any indoor socialising with those from another household.
Labour has always insisted that no rules were broken as Sir Keir was attending a business meeting at which he paused briefly for dinner. It has previously always rejected claims Ms Rayner was in the room.
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Durham Constabulary had previously looked into claims of lockdown rule-breaking but said it did not consider it a breach.
But after fines were handed out to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak for having birthday cake during Covid restrictions, Tory MPs want the police to reconsider Sir Keir’s actions.
North West Durham MP Richard Holden earlier this week wrote to the police to ask them to look again at the case.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also called for a full investigation to be launched, saying: “A consistency of the application of the law, that’s what we all deserve – whether we’re in London or whether we’re in Durham.”
The Prime Minister’s spokesman added: “The PM thinks the law should be applied equally at all times.”
In January, Sir Keir defended video footage of him drinking.
He said: “We were working in the office. We stopped for something to eat and then we carried on working.
“No party, no breach of the rules and absolutely no comparison with the Prime Minister.”