Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner didn’t break Covid legal guidelines and won’t be fined over Beergate, Durham Police have introduced.
A spokesperson added: “There is no such thing as a case to reply for a violation of the laws, as a result of software of an exception, specifically fairly crucial work.”
Police mentioned the gathering on the Miners’ Corridor in Durham on 30 April 2020, which was linked to a part of Labour campaigning for the Hartlepool by-election and native elections, had been totally investigated.
Proof and witness statements recognized that 17 folks participated, together with the Labour chief and deputy chief.
“Durham Constabulary is not going to be issuing any fastened penalty notices in respect of the gathering and no additional motion will probably be taken,” an announcement mentioned.
“The investigation has been thorough, detailed and proportionate.”
Sir Keir, the previous director of public prosecutions, had vowed to resign if he was discovered to have damaged Covid legal guidelines – having urged Boris Johnson to go away his publish after being fined over an unlawful Downing Avenue gathering.
In an announcement posted on Twitter, the Labour chief mentioned: “I’ve all the time mentioned no guidelines had been damaged once I was in Durham.
“The police have accomplished their investigation and agreed: there isn’t a case to reply.
“For me, this was all the time a matter of precept. Honesty and integrity matter. You’ll all the time get that from me.”
Ms Rayner tweeted: “Integrity issues in politics. The distinction with the behaviour of this disgraced prime minister could not be clearer.”
Durham Constabulary beforehand investigated Dominic Cummings, then the prime minister’s chief adviser, for taking his household from London to the northeast whereas contaminated with coronavirus through the first nationwide lockdown.
Officers concluded that he may need dedicated a “minor breach” of the regulation by driving to Barnard Fortress, however that issuing a advantageous months later “would quantity to treating Mr Cummings in a different way from different members of the general public”.
The drive initially determined to take no motion over pictures of Sir Keir ingesting a beer contained in the constituency workplace of Labour MP Mary Foy, which resurfaced whereas being broadly shared by Conservatives through the Partygate scandal.
Ms Foy, the MP for the Metropolis of Durham, mentioned she was “delighted” by Durham Police’s findings and spoke of the “strain of the previous couple of months”.
“It’s unlucky that the will of some Conservative politicians to attain political factors has led to a lot of Durham Police’s time being centered on a matter that was already investigated, particularly when their assets are already below important strain,” she added.
“I’m enormously appreciative for the understanding my employees and their households have proven within the face of great intrusion from the right-wing media, together with their youngsters and oldsters being doorstepped.”
On the time, “step two” Covid legal guidelines had been in drive, which made gatherings of greater than two folks indoors unlawful until they had been topic to one in all quite a few exemptions, which included being “fairly crucial for work functions”.
The identical exemption was in drive for a number of gatherings investigated as a part of Partygate , which noticed 126 fines issued for Covid breaches on eight separate dates by the Metropolitan Police.
It’s believed to have been utilized by the prime minister as a defence for his attendance at a number of gatherings that he was not fined for.