Keir Starmer’s comments come as police reopen an investigation into whether a gathering in Durham breached lockdown rules.
The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labor Party, Keir Starmer, has vowed to resign if he is fined by police for breaking coronavirus pandemic laws by drinking beer and eating curry with activists.
“If the police decide to issue me a fixed penalty notice, of course I would do the right thing and resign,” he told a news conference on Monday, insisting: “It is absolutely clear to me that no laws were passed. broken.”
The meeting took place in Durham, northeast England, in April last year, and then a video surfaced of Starmer drinking beer and eating takeaway inside a campaign office with party colleagues.
Starmer, a barrister and former chief prosecutor for England and Wales, has repeatedly insisted that he is not breaking rules against indoor gatherings as he was working.
Over the weekend, one of his top teams described him as “Mr. Rules” and on Monday he said that he had self-isolated six times due to COVID-19.
“I did it because we follow the rules. The idea that he would then casually break those rules is wrong,” she said.
Police said Friday that they were reopening of a probe on whether he breached lockdown rules, weeks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself was fined for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
Starmer said the difference between him and Johnson was that “the prime minister was found to be in breach” of the law.
“I think [there are] over 50 fines now in relation to Downing Street. And the prime minister has not resigned,” Starmer said.
“He and others in his party want the public to believe that we are all the same, that we will all act that way. I am here to make it clear that this is not the case.”
Durham Police investigated the event at the time and concluded that “no crime had been established”, but reopened the investigation “after receiving significant new information in recent days”.
That announcement came a day after local elections, in which Johnson’s Conservative Party suffered losses.
The Prime Minister and Finance Minister Rishi Sunak were fined for attending a meeting at Johnson’s office to celebrate his birthday in 2020.
London police are still investigating other possible breaches of the law by Johnson, who has previously denied breaking the rules he set for everyone else.
When it emerged that Johnson was under police investigation, Starmer called it a “mark of shame” and demanded the prime minister resign.
“Even now he is hiding behind a police investigation into the criminality in his home and office,” Starmer told MPs in January.