Starmer’s infamous Hartlepool beer meeting, which was at least contentious and at worse unlawful, is back in the news, much to Labour’s irritation. North West Durham MP Richard Holden re-sparked the row on Saturday after writing to Chief Durham Constable Jo Farrell demanding a renewed probe into Sir Keir’s beer meeting, in light of Rishi’s unreasonably harsh fine. Despite the police force’s quick denial of any wrongdoing, Guido finds it hard to interpret Starmer’s actions as lawful under the rules at the time…
The rules and the way they are interpreted should apply equally to the Prime Minister, @BorisJohnson, & to those who seek that office like @Keir_Starmer— Richard Holden MP (@RicHolden) April 23, 2022
And they should be applied equally by the police, whether @metpoliceuk or @DurhamPolice
>>> https://t.co/VxX0AbCbL2 pic.twitter.com/SrnyasVTTS
Starmer was then asked about the event again on Sunday Morning, when the lawyer chose to squirm and dodge questions about its lawfulness.
Following Holden’s letter, multiple social media users began questioning whether Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen – a longstanding Starmer supporter – was at the event, and whether that could have played a role in the police force’s decision to find in the Labour leader’s favour. Following the rumours, Guido contacted her press office…
“The Office of the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner has been informed that neither Joy Allen, the then candidate for Durham PCC, or Nigel Bryson, attended the event involving Kier [sic] Starmer during his visit to Durham at the last local election.”
Leaving aside the phrase “has been informed” rather than a first-person denial, Guido’s intrigued by the formal implication this is being considered a local election event, rather than a business meeting. As the rules stated at the time, campaigners could only go indoors “to meet the committee room organiser in order to collect election literature or drop off telling slips…”
“It is against the law to meet socially indoors with anyone not in your household or support bubble.”
Did Starmer’s own Police and Crime Commissioner just accidentally dob him in?