Labour Leader Keir Starmer made a statement today announcing he will resign if he receives a fixed penalty notice over Beergate.

The Labour leader made the televised statement at 4 pm where he addressed beergate, the Durham Police investigation and his future as Labour Leader if fined.

Sir Keir Starmer said in his speech he will do “the right thing and step down” as Labour leader if he is fined by police over an allegation he broke coronavirus laws at a curry and beer gathering in Durham.

The Labour leader was said to be in talks on Monday about whether to announce the pledge, after pulling out of a scheduled event where he would have faced fresh questions over the leadership position.

Covid symptoms to look out for

Sir Keir was facing pressure to set out his position after he called for the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak after they were fined for a Covid breach.

Did Keir Starmer break lockdown rules?

County Times: Keir Starmer. Credit: PAKeir Starmer. Credit: PA

Labour has said that the food was consumed between work events, meaning it was within the rules despite the ban on indoor socialising.

Sir Keir, a former director of public prosecutions, told reporters on Saturday: “As I have explained a number of times, I was working in the office, we stopped for something to eat.

“There was no party, no breach of rules, I am confident of that.”

He said he would not resign and would lead Labour into the next general election.

But the Labour leader was facing calls to answer fresh questions after a leaked memo suggested the takeaway was planned, with no further work apparently scheduled after dinner.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said he did not know why Sir Keir cancelled his appearance at the scheduled event but insisted he was not avoiding scrutiny.

Mr Streeting told BBC Breakfast: “I have no idea why he cancelled the event and I certainly didn’t ask before I came on because I think it’s such a trivial issue.

“The idea that Keir has been dodging questions… I mean he’s been out all weekend, even after a local election campaign where we did very well, he’s been out thanking Labour teams, particularly in the places that we did particularly well in these elections.”

Mr Streeting added that Sir Keir has faced journalists “wherever he’s been”, including as recently as Saturday, adding: “The idea that Keir is somehow ducking scrutiny is simply not true.”

Conservative universities minister Michelle Donelan accused Sir Keir of hypocrisy, having pressured Boris Johnson over Downing Street lockdown breaches, for which the Prime Minister was fined by police.

Some 46% of people believe Sir Keir should resign if he is fined by police, according to a YouGov survey of 1,674 adults over the weekend.

That includes 48% of those who voted Labour at the last election, which is higher than those who voted Tory, at 40%.

With the police investigation continuing, 54% responded that Sir Keir either probably or definitely broke the rules.

Who will replace Keir Starmer as the next Labour leader?

County Times: Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. Credit: PA Credit: PAMayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. Credit: PA Credit: PA

Speculation has already begun about who will replace Sir Keir if he resigns and there are already some clear frontrunners. 

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, leads the odds on 5/1, according to Betfair Exchange. 

Wes Streeting , the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, follows closely behind on 6/1 with Lisa Nandy, the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 8/1. 

Full next Labour leader odds

  • Andy Burnham 5/1
  • Wes Streeting 6/1
  • Lisa Nandy 8/1
  • Angela Rayner 8/1
  • Yvette Cooper 11/1
  • Rachel Reeves 11/1
  • Bridget Phillipson 25/1
  • Rosena Allin-Khan 31/1
  • Jess Phillips 33/1
  • Sadiq Khan 35/1

Betfair Exchange has also revealed odds on what year Keir Starmer will be replaced as Labour leader, the odds as follows:

  • 2022 9/5
  • 2023 9/2
  • 2024 2/5

Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “Keir Starmer may have been toasting to strong local election results, but the Labour leader is in hot water over ‘beergate’ claims of his own and Andy Burnham is the 5/1 favourite to become the new Labour leader should he step down.

“Wes Streeting is next in the betting at 6/1, while Lisa Nandy and Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner are 8/1.”