The Labour chief, Keir Starmer, has mentioned he was not breaching the principles in {a photograph} of him ingesting a beer with workers in a constituency workplace final yr, and that there was “no comparability” with the prime minister’s current conduct.

The picture, captured by means of the window of a constructing in Durham within the run as much as final yr’s Hartlepool byelection, reveals Starmer ingesting a bottle of beer and standing shut to 2 individuals, whereas one other two individuals will be seen within the background.

It was first revealed final spring, when indoor mixing between completely different households was not allowed apart from work, however the image has been republished by some media within the wake of a slew of revelations about apparent rule-breaking parties at No 10.

Showing on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, Starmer mentioned: “I used to be in a constituency workplace simply days earlier than the election. We had been very busy. We had been working within the workplace.

“We stopped for one thing to eat after which we carried on working. No celebration, no breach of the principles and completely no comparability with the prime minister.”

He added: “It was completely lawful to satisfy for work, which is what we had been doing. The party that was put to the prime minister on Wednesday occurred as a result of an invite was despatched to 100 individuals saying ‘let’s have some socially distant drinks within the backyard and convey your personal booze’. There’s merely no comparability.”

Starmer reiterated hat Johnson must resign in the public interest, saying he had “misplaced all authority”. He additionally advised the prime minister that he ought to observe the science when it got here to lifting plan B Covid measures and that he mustn’t do it as a result of he was “in an actual mess and he’s desperately making an attempt to get out of it”.

Starmer mentioned he hoped the restrictions may very well be lifted as quickly as doable however Labour would vote to elevate them provided that it was the appropriate factor to do. “We’ll be led by the science as we at all times have been, not by the politics of propping up a damaged prime minister,” he mentioned.

Within the Mail on Sunday, the Conservative MPs Andrew Bridgen and Iain Duncan Smith accused Labour of hypocrisy over the image of Starmer. Duncan Smith mentioned the Labour chief ought to apologise whereas Bridgen mentioned he ought to refer himself and his colleagues within the {photograph} for investigation.


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