Keir Starmer and the Durham Drinks

What is the Durham Drinks outrage and will Keir Starmer resign?

Cc Lee
25th May 2022
The Durham Police have issued an investigation into the Labour Leader's, Sir Keir Starmer, alleged Durham Drinks party. The investigation will question whether any Covid-19 laws were broken. So, what does this mean for Starmer?

In the run up to Hartlepool by-election, on the 6th May 2021, Starmer was photographed holding a bottle whilst colleagues were distanced around the room. The photograph was taken in the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy. Starmer justified the photos, stating that a take away was ordered as you couldn’t eat in at a restaurant during this time. He also said that people would go into the kitchen and different times in order to collect the food.

The Covid-19 rules at the time of the photograph fall into the step 2 category of quarantine rules, which were placed into effect on 30th April 2021. This meant that social gatherings indoors with people outside of your household/support bubble were banned. Whilst there was an exemption for people at work, however the guidance strictly banned social gatherings. The police and the public are now questioning whether the food and drink seen in the photograph was necessary for work purposes.

The police and public are questioning whether the food and drink was necessary for work purposes

In February, this year, the Durham police had said that they didn’t suspect anyone had broken the rules. This conclusion is being re-evaluated in light of the new evidence, however.

Starmer has announced that he would resign if the police found him guilty, which I think the public would certainly welcome. The Labour party seem confident of Starmer's innocence though, with a source claiming there is documentary evidence of Starmer working until 1am on the night in question. If Starmer is proven to have broken the rules, I am sure the public would welcome the resignation given their collective frustration over "Party Gate." Whilst, Starmer didn’t create the laws himself, it is still unfair that people in positions of power believe that they can break the rules and use “work" as the cover.

If the police finds him not guilty, then I don’t think it will be a surprise to anyone if he remains the Labour Party Leader. If he is guilty then, he should resign his position. Although it would have been more favourable for Johnson to have resigned following Party Gate, I think people will still be satisfied that one leader followed through with their public promise.

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