Keir Starmer dramatically vowed to resign if fined for breaking blocking rules as Labor prepared to present evidence to police to show his team worked beyond 1am on the night he was photographed drinking a beer.
The Guardian may reveal that Labor has compiled time-stamped logs of WhatsApp conversations, documents and videos, which will provide an investigation by Durham police.
The party claims to prove that the curry and beers shared between his team came as part of a long working day preparing for the Hartlepool primaries, which means it was allowed under Covid rules at the time.
In a speech Monday after hours of discussion with his aides, Starmer took up his career game by saying he would resign if police gave him a fixed notification of what happened on April 30 last year. . His deputy, Angela Rayner, who was also at Durham Miners Hall, also said he would resign if punished.
Starmer said he was determined to prove he had different principles against the prime minister, who has already been given a fixed penalty notice for breaking down Downing Street rules.
He said he was convinced he had not broken the rules, but would resign if he was fined, saying: The British public deserves politicians who think the rules apply to them.
Detectives investigating Kerry’s circumstances are considering interviewing the Labor leader face to face, the Guardian notes. The Durhams police investigation will continue at least until June and any of the at least 15 people present could face a sentence if they are deemed to have broken the laws by detectives.
Starmer is said to be confident he will not be fined for evidence that handing over was part of his working day, though a leaked memo indicated the order was pre-planned at the end of a Zoom quiz organized by the MP vendas.
In the first messages from the Guardian, at least two senior assistants present at Durham Miners Hall sent questions about script modifications and video modifications between 10:30 pm and 1:00 am after the handover was ordered for the team of the campaign, which included Starmer, Rayner and Labor. MP Mary Foy.
Labor sources said they would insist Starmer had not broken the rules regardless of whether work continued after the meal, but said the evidence added weight to the Starmers case and gave them confidence that he should not resign.
A party source said: We have been completely clear that no rule has been violated. We will provide documentary evidence that people worked before and after stopping to eat.
Starmer and his team will provide police with evidence from WhatsApp groups, including one created for the visit, where tweets, scripts and video modifications were being discussed until the early hours.
In a speech Monday, Starmer said he simply had something to eat while working late into the evening, as any politician would do the day before the election.
Not all the participants in the WhatsApp group were in the hall and Starmer is not a member of either group, but a message the next day says, Keir woke up this morning with some questions about the video. A source said Starmer was given information documents overnight to work on the visit in the following days.
The Labor leader filmed a video in the hall with time stamps in the video showing that the shooting took place until 21:07 and WhatsApp messages then show the corresponding helpers regarding the modifications.
In a message at 22:52, an aide says they are just editing a message for International Workers’ Day and warns that they will not have something complete in an hour or two. They also say a scenario for the Starmers’ visit to Liberty Steel in Hartlepool has yet to be completed.
Labor will also feature police modifications made to a Google document containing a script for a clip that Starmer would be filming at Liberty Steel, showing the changes being made from 10:41 p.m. to 11:19 p.m.
A WhatsApp message with the final modification from a helper that was with Starmer sends the final modification at 1:56 am with the message Sorry so late. The messages do not make clear whether the assistants remained in place until that time or whether they returned to work at their hotel.
Starmers’ decision to announce he would resign if police discovered he had broken the rules was criticized by some Conservative MPs as unnecessary pressure on Durham police. Minister Chris Philp suggested that Stamer could try to put pressure on police to clean it up, describing the move as profoundly inappropriate.
Conservative MPs had previously been flogged for not calling for the Starmers to resign because of the pressure it could put on Johnson.
Starmer said it had been entirely his decision, as rumors circulated among Labor MPs that he had faced calls to make the statement by members of his shadow cabinet. “It’s my decision what is the right thing to do in these circumstances,” he said.
This is about me. It has to do with what I believe in politics. It is about integrity, and I believe in integrity, and integrity requires me to take the course of action I have set if, in the event, I receive a fixed penalty notice.
Earlier Monday, Starmer pulled out of a speech at the Institute for Government while trying to figure out how to respond to new pressure on behavior at the Durham meeting of Labor assistants, some of whom were reported that they were drunk, which was denied by Foy.
Starmer has a loophole where he could potentially be criticized by police, but is not fined an approach the Durham force took after an investigation into alleged blocking violations by Dominic Cummings, who at the time was the prime minister’s top aide.
Responding to media questions, Starmer indicated that he would not necessarily withdraw if police did not fine him, but saying the event may have broken the rules.
The penalty for a Covid offense is a fixed penalty notice, he said when asked about the situation. This is a matter of law. And I determined what the position is about that.
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