Senior Tories have accused Sir Keir Starmer of being an ‘absolute hypocrite’ about the Downing Street party row.
Sir Keir has criticized Boris Johnson for revelations about Covid rule-breaking events in issue 10 and has called on the prime minister to resign.
But Tory figures have criticized Sir Keir, with a photo of the Labor leader from last year appearing to show him sipping a beer while chatting with party staff inside.
The image resurfaced when Downing Street apologized to Buckingham Palace after it emerged that parties were being held at number 10 last year the day before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Sir Keir has now reiterated his call for Mr Johnson to stop as the Labor leader said ‘Boris Johnson must do the right thing and step down’.
Tory figures have criticized Sir Keir, with a photo of the Labor leader from last year appearing to be having a beer as he stood inside chatting with party staff.
Sir Keir has berated Boris Johnson over revelations about Covid rule-breaking events in issue 10 and has called on prime minister to resign
What were the Covid rules in England during step two of Boris Johnson’s roadmap?
Restrictions on step two were in effect in England from April 12 last year until the transition to step three on May 17.
Official government guidelines stated that “you are not allowed to socialize indoors, except with your household or support bubble.”
People were allowed to meet outside, including in gardens, in ‘groups of six people or two households’.
Bars, pubs and restaurants were not allowed to open indoors, but they could serve groups of up to six people or two households outdoors.
However, they were required to provide table service.
In step two, people were also advised to ‘work from home if possible’.
The image was taken in May 2021 when Sir Keir visited a Labor constituency office in Durham ahead of the Hartlepool by-election.
The photo was taken through the window of the building and appeared to show Sir Keir having a beer while speaking to two people, with two more in the background.
At the time, England was on step two of Johnson’s roadmap for exiting a lockdown, which stated that indoor mixing between households was not allowed unless it was for work.
A Tory source told The Telegraph: ‘Sir Keir has been criticizing people for the past two months for doing exactly the same as himself. He’s an absolute hypocrite.’
Mr Johnson had brought up the photo during the Prime Minister’s questions on December 15 after Sir Keir scammed him over an alleged Christmas party at number 10 in December 2020.
The Prime Minister said: ‘I have answered that question many times before. As the proper esteemed and learned gentleman knows, a report is delivered to me by the Cabinet Secretary as to what exactly happened.
“The right honorable and learned gentleman could explain why there are pictures of him drinking beer—we didn’t hear him do that.”
A Labor spokesman pointed out to The Telegraph the party’s earlier statement regarding the photo that no rules had been broken.
The statement issued at the time read: ‘Keir was at the workplace, met a local MP in her constituency and took part in an online Labor Party event.
“They took a break for dinner, since the meeting was in the evening.”
The row over Sir Keir’s photo came as Downing Street was rocked by new revelations about events in issue 10.
Downing Street apologized to Buckingham Palace after it emerged that parties had been held the day before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April 2021.
A Downing Street official called the palace to apologize over the latest revelations about a party on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, but aides declined to say whether Mr Johnson – who was not at the booze-fueled event – personally would speak with the monarch on the matter. Pictured, one of the Prime Minister’s weekly audiences with the Queen last June
The government guidelines from April 2021 contain clear limits for socializing indoors and outdoors
Two rallies reportedly took place at number 10, with James Slack, the Prime Minister’s former communications director, apologizing for the “anger and pain” caused by one of the events — a farewell held for him.
A spokesman for the prime minister confirmed that number 10 had apologized to the palace.
The spokesman said: “It is deeply regrettable that this happened at a time of national mourning and No. 10 has apologized to the palace.
“You heard from the Prime Minister this week that he has recognized that number 10 must be held to the highest standards and take responsibility for things we have not done right.”
The day after the events on April 16, 2021, the Queen attended her husband Philip’s funeral wearing a face mask and social distancing from her family at Windsor Castle, in accordance with Covid restrictions.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said Johnson was at his Checkers country retreat on April 16 and had not been invited to the events.
When asked why Number 10 had apologized rather than Johnson himself, his spokesman said: “Well, again, the Prime Minister said there have been previous misjudgments and it’s good that people are apologizing, as the Prime Minister did earlier this week. did.
“It remains that I cannot pre-empt the investigation, which you know is still ongoing and led by Sue Gray, but we recognize the great public outrage, it was regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning.”
Obviously, the apology was conveyed through official channels via a phone call.
Sir Keir said Mr Johnson should also offer the Queen his resignation.
He said: ‘The Conservatives have let Britain down. Apologies are not the only thing the prime minister should offer the palace today.
“Boris Johnson must do the right thing and step down.”