Keir Starmer, the leader of British Labor, ready to resign in the event of a fine

After the “partygate”, the “beergate”. The serial parties in Downing Street during the pandemic, flagrant breaches of health rules, have seriously damaged the credibility and popularity of Boris Johnson, especially since the British Prime Minister received a fine from the police for this reason. London. But, for the past few days, it has been his main political opponent, Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labor Party, who has found himself at the center of attention. In question, a curry and bottles of beer that he shared with his teams and Labor activists on a Friday evening in April last year, during a trip to Durham (north-east England). ). On Monday May 9, the ex-Attorney General for England and Wales pledged to resign if the police imposed a fine on him for having attended this late dinner, while health restrictions still applied in England.

On a rather blurry photograph, published in the Sun almost a year ago, behind a lighted window, we can make out the silhouette of Mr. Starmer, a bottle of beer in his hand, surrounded by other people who are obviously eating. For months, this very right-wing tabloid tried to elevate the subject, while the Labor leadership paid little attention to it, busy criticizing Boris Johnson over “partygate” – the Prime Minister has attended at least four parties, between 2020 and 2021, which are the subject of investigations by Scotland Yard.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers ‘Partygate’: Police fine Boris Johnson, his wife and Chancellor of the Exchequer

“The only possible decision”

But the Durham cliché suddenly took on the proportions of a scandal (the “beergate”), when the Durham police announced the opening of an investigation on May 6. After calling Boris Johnson to resign, Keir Starmer, who poses as a politician of integrity facing a prime minister “who takes the British for idiots”, had no real choice. On Monday, he therefore played double or quits, pledging to resign if the Durham police came to the conclusion that he violated the health rules. “If the police decide to impose a fine on me, of course I will take the only decision possible in these cases, and I will resign. Britons deserve to have politicians who believe the rules apply to them too”Mr. Starmer said at an impromptu press conference.

Read also: Downing Street parties: Boris Johnson apologizes but refuses to resign

“I believe in honour, integrity and the principle that those who make the laws must stick to them. And I believe that policies that do not respect these principles weaken democracy and our country”, added the ex-lawyer, 59, who has been trying for two years to turn the page on the Corbyn era, his predecessor as leader of Labour, with a program at the center. His bet is bold: if the Durham police clear him, Keir Starmer will be able to refine his image as a man of principles, and insist, without restraint, on the contrast with a Boris Johnson ready to do anything to stay in Downing Street. If the fine falls, it will have to be erased and Labor will lose a leader, who had a good chance of winning the next general elections (by 2024) and ending more than twelve years of conservatism.

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