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    Midlands Radio

keir starmer

Sadiq Khan Accepts ‘Equivalence’ Between Keir Starmer’s Beer And Boris Johnson’s Cake

today5 May 2022 1

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Sadiq Khan has said it is a “fair point” to draw comparisons between Boris Johnson’s birthday party and Keir Starmer’s curry gathering in Durham.

The Mayor of London conceded there was an “equivalence” between the two events, but argued incidents repeatedly took place in Downing Street.

Starmer has struggled to shake off questions about a beer and curry he shared with up to 30 aides on an election visit to Durham last year.

The Labour leader has insisted he went back to work after stopping for the 10pm curry with colleagues during lockdown.

However, critics point out a likeness between that and the prime minister and chancellor being issued with fines for a birthday cake shared in the Cabinet Room in 2020.

Rishi Sunak was fined despite allegedly stumbling on the birthday gathering by accident while waiting to attend another meeting. Labour called for him to resign following the fine.

Pressed on the equivalence between the two events, Khan told TalkTV’s Tom Newton Dunn: “I think you make a fair point. If there was one occasion where an instant happened in Downing Street, I think it’s a fair point to say there’s equivalence.

“We now know, though, there were many occasions and a culture versus one occasion having a bit of a curry at the end of a campaigning day.

“It’s really important your listeners hear this, gathering for campaigning was allowed and what Keir Starmer was doing is not unreasonable, having supper is very different from a culture in Downing Street of ‘bring your own bottle’, having a karaoke machine and the police finding that in our prime minister, the rule maker, is a rule breaker as well.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Labour leader Keir Starmer and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Stefan Rousseau – PA Images via Getty Images

On the same programme Lib Dem leader Ed Davey defended Starmer, saying: “The police have investigated what happened in Durham and haven’t made any charges. They investigated what happened in 10 Downing Street and there were charges.”

Richard Holden, Tory MP for North West Durham, is leading efforts to get the police to re-examine the case after they found there had been no wrongdoing earlier this year.

Social gatherings indoors were banned at the time but the Labour Party has insisted no laws were broken because Starmer and colleagues, including deputy leader Angela Rayner, were on a break and returned to work after they had eaten.

Starmer accused the Tories of mud-slinging and said it was “absurd” to suggest that people did not work after 10pm.

He told the BBC: “We stopped, we didn’t break the rules, the police looked at it months ago. The rest of it is pure politics from the Conservative Party.”

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today5 May 2022

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