If you’ve paid any attention to British politics in the last six months or so they you’ve probably already heard about “Partygate.” That’s the name given to a whole series of events that were held at 10 Downing Street between May of 2020 and April of 2021 at which staff gathered for social events while the country was under strict lockdown. Here’s just one example.
The Times reports the PM’s wife Carrie Johnson and interior designer Lulu Lytle, who was working on the Downing Street flat at the time, presented Mr Johnson with a Union Jack cake while his wife led staff in a chorus of Happy Birthday on June 19, 2020.
A Times source said members of Johnson’s team had been emailed in advance asking them to come to “wish the prime minister happy birthday” and around 30 guests were reported to be there.
ITV News also reported the claim there was also Marks & Spencer party food while people stayed for around 30 minutes.
Under British lockdown rules, government work was an allowable reason to gather but socializing was not. So a work meeting at 10 Downing Street was okay but a birthday cake was a violation of the rules. Partygate has been a major problem for Boris Johnson and his party and is considered one of the leading reasons that the conservatives did terribly in recent elections.
But the Labour Party has had a hint of a similar scandal brewing (pun intended) for months, ever since this photo of Labour leader Keir Starmer drinking a beer with staff during lockdown was published.
BEER ROW Keir Starmer enjoys beer with Labour workers despite lockdown rules banning indoor social gatherings. You tell us @Keir_Starmer we wouldn't know we were all in our homes, is this a party or a work meeting? You are all at it… pic.twitter.com/Xd22KQxepU
— Labour Heartlands (@Labourheartland) December 21, 2021
This counter-scandal has been dubbed “Beergate” and Starmer, who had called for PM Johnson to resign over Partygate, has denied doing anything wrong. He claimed that the beer and curry he ate that night were an impromptu meal ordered on a late work night. Here he is on TV saying it was something ordered that night because people were hungry.
Labour leader Sir @Keir_Starmer is challenged over pictures showing him drinking beer with colleagues when indoor socialising was banned.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) May 4, 2022
But that claim fell apart yesterday when someone who was present claimed the meal was not impromptu at all but had been planned in advance.
Sir Keir Starmer was facing a crisis on two fronts last night as a witness prepared to tell police the Labour leader’s lockdown curry had broken pandemic rules and a leaked document appeared to show the gathering had been planned.
Starmer has claimed the takeaway was ordered spontaneously between meetings.
A source who was present when the Labour leader was filmed enjoying a late-night beer with activists in Durham claims Starmer did not return to work after eating. They also accused some in attendance, including the local Labour MP Mary Foy and her staff, of not working during the event and being there only to socialise.
Here’s the document which shows the meal was planned in advance:
Not only is Starmer a Partygate hypocrite, he’s also a liar.
The lockdown law breaking Beers with Keir was pre-arranged and planned, blowing his story into smithereens.
Will the BBC, ITV News and Sky News finally start leading on this story now just like Partygate? pic.twitter.com/wQreSkCzPT
— Dan Wootton (@danwootton) May 7, 2022
Today, Starmer took the unusual step of vowing to step down as Labour Party leader if the police fined him for violating COVID rules.
Keir Starmer pledges to resign as Labour leader if fined for Covid breach.
Deputy leader Angela Rayner also says she will step down if fined after Durham police start new investigation into lockdown beer and takeaway event. pic.twitter.com/v5C0s9oaQj
— 🅳🅰🅵🆈🅳🅳 🏴 🇮🇪 🏴 (@Dafydd_62) May 9, 2022
Some conservatives have suggested he’s trying to pressure the police not to hold him accountable for the same rules that were deemed inviolable when it came to Boris Johnson and Partygate. Dan Wooton who hosts a show on the conservative leaning GB News wasn’t impressed with Starmer’s statement.
In front of the cameras, Starmer was such a Covid extremist he would wear masks and maintain social distancing outside – and he even disappeared from public view altogether to undergo a farcical six stints in isolation.
Following the lead of other left-wing Covid hysterics internationally like Justin Trudeau, Jacinda Ardern and Nicola Sturgeon, appearing to go further than what the rules required became part of his virtue signalling, be kind, take the knee persona.
The evil Tories were being reckless and putting lives at risk for wanting to return life to any semblance of normality, he would have you believe.
But now we know, just like the partygoers at Number 10, Starmer was never scared; his Covid hysteria was nothing more than performance art designed for political gain…
Today, in an unconvincing bid to regain the moral high ground, Starmer reluctantly pledged to resign if he’s issued a fine.
But that is an absolute cop out because he knows full-well that Durham Police have a policy of not issuing fixed-penalty notices retrospectively…
When robotic Starmer was asked if he would resign if police find him in breach of the rules but don’t fine him, he refused to answer the question.
This probably won’t amount to much but it does show that people in the UK are just as fed up with COVID lockdown hypocrisy as they are here in the US.