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The Labour leader insisted no rules were broken last April when he had a drink with an MP and staff in their constituency office despite England still living under Stage 2 restrictions. The Holborn and St Pancras MP risks being dragged into the row engulfing the Government over allegations of rule-breaking gatherings during the pandemic.
Sir Keir has been forced to defend his behaviour all weekend, insisting he did nothing wrong.
Speaking this morning on LBC radio he again stood firm in his defence, insisting his behaviour was “absolutely no comparison” with Boris Johnson.
He said: “The picture of me was in a constituency office up in the North East, it was I think, three or four days before the May elections, so we’re really busy. I was with my team going across the country from place to place.
“We’re in the office, working in the office and we stopped for a takeaway, and then we carried on working and that is the long and the short of it.
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“There was no breach of the rules. There was no party. And there was absolutely no comparison with the Prime Minister.”
Voters have criticised Sir Keir force attacking Boris Johnson for allegations he broke lockdown rules while failing to follow the guidance himself.
One person phoned in the radio station to brand the Labour leader a “hypocrite”.
They dismissed the former lawyer’s attempts to justify his actions as “like listening to Boris Johnson without the harrumphing”, adding: “You should apologise and you are a hypocrite for not.”
The picture, which was originally exposed last year but has resurfaced over the past week, shows Sir Keir in the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy on April 30 2021 in the run-up to May’s local elections and the Hartlepool parliamentary by-election.
He can be seen standing, bottle in hand, talking with two people who were not socially distanced. A bigger group can also be seen in the background.
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Sir Keir said no restaurants or pubs were open and the hotel he and his colleagues were staying in did not serve food, so “if you didn’t get a takeaway then our team wasn’t eating that evening”.
At Prime Minister’s Questions last Wednesday the Labour leader demanded Mr Johnson’s resignation for attending an alleged party in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown
He said “the party is over” as he called the Prime Minister a “man without shame”.
Sir Keir told MPs in the Commons: “We’ve got the Prime Minister attending Downing Street parties – a clear breach of the rules.
“We’ve got the Prime Minister putting forward a series of ridiculous denials which he knows are untrue – a clear breach of the ministerial code.
“That code says ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation.
“The party’s over, Prime Minister. The only question is will the British public kick him out, will his party kick him out or will he do the decent thing and resign?”
Mr Johnson had admitted to being in the garden for 25 minutes to thank staff, but said he believed the gathering was a “work meeting” and technically fell within the rules.
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