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British police investigate Labour leader over possible COVID-19 rule breach

By Simon Druker
British police investigate Labour leader over possible COVID-19 rule breach
British police confirmed on Friday they are investigating Labour party leader Keir Starmer over accusations he violated COVID-19 restrictions in April when most indoor gatherings were still banned. Photo via Twitter

May 6 (UPI) -- British Labour party leader Keir Starmer is under investigation for possibly breaching COVID-19 protocols in April, police confirmed Friday.

The Durham Constabulary previously said it was not investigating Starmer over allegations he was seen having a drink indoors while most social gatherings were still banned.

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"Earlier this year, Durham Constabulary carried out an assessment as to whether COVID-19 regulations had been breached at a gathering in Durham City on April 30, 2021. At that time, it was concluded that no offence had been established and therefore no further action would be taken," the department said in a statement, without specifically mentioning the 59-year-old politician by name.

However, video was later published, allegedly showing Starmer at the gathering.

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"Following the receipt of significant new information over recent days, Durham Constabulary has reviewed that position and now, following the conclusion of the pre-election period, we can confirm that an investigation into potential breaches of COVID-19 regulations relating to this gathering is now being conducted," the police statement said, without specifying what the new information was.

At the time, Britain was under Step 2 COVID-19 restrictions, which prohibited indoor gatherings with people from outside your household or support bubble.

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Starmer has not denied that he was in the establishment, but said he was only picking up a takeout order and that no rules were broken.

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The Durham Constabulary did not elaborate on how long it expects the investigation to take.

Starmer won the right to succeed former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn in April 2020, at the time pledging "a new era."

He became a member of Parliament in 2015 and vowed to lead the party "into a new era with confidence and hope."

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