DAILY MAIL COMMENT: ‘Sinner’ Starmer must say sorry for Beergate

There are, according to the old proverb, none so blind as those who will not see.

And Labour frontbencher Lisa Nandy proved that yesterday by being unwilling to accept her boss is in very hot water.

Asked about Sir Keir Starmer’s beer and curry jolly, she declared risibly: ‘He is Mr Rules. He does not break them.’

Of course, Durham Constabulary – which finally caved into pressure to investigate Beergate – will determine if that’s true.

But little by little, more evidence emerges that Labour’s leader did indeed flout lockdown laws in Durham last year.

But little by little, more evidence emerges that Labour’s leader did indeed flout lockdown laws in Durham last year 

A bombshell document revealed the takeaway, eaten indoors, was planned in advance and no campaign work was due to occur afterwards – torpedoing Starmer’s ludicrous excuse that it was justifiable.

And today, a photograph shows that the day before the notorious event he dined al fresco with a Labour MP – proving he knew socialising inside was strictly forbidden.

Yet when asked to explain the late-night drinks do he has repeatedly lied, dissembled and obfuscated. At every turn, his account has held as much water as a sieve.

All the while, he sanctimoniously demanded Boris Johnson resign for so-called ‘parties’ at No10. The hypocrisy is nauseating.

Clearly, the Prime Minister didn’t realise being given a birthday cake by an aide would break the law and incur a fine.

And perhaps, despite all clues to the contrary, Starmer also didn’t think his biryani bash was even slightly suspect.

So baffling, convoluted and absurd were the restrictions, it’s amazing anyone understood them – even the lawmakers. The difference is, he hopped on his high horse and preached like he was without sin.

This newspaper does not think that he should resign over his behaviour (although, if he’s found to have broken the law, he must be treated as harshly as those he hubristically castigated).

Instead, he should hold up his hands and say sorry for his grave mistake.

Keeping the peace

The seismic election victory of Sinn Fein, the sinister political party which cheered on the IRA’s cold-blooded murderers, will sicken anyone who rejects violence.

Yet a disastrous split in the Unionist vote has seen them become the Northern Ireland Assembly’s largest party for the first time.

Though unpalatable, it is a pitfall of the democracy we rightly treasure.

But encouragingly, their seat tally and vote share did not improve on the last election.

Inevitably, Sinn Fein is already demanding a referendum on Irish reunification, but there is no evidence of a majority for that.

The truth is, people in the Province care more about politicians fixing their huge social problems – creaking health system, housing shortages, unemployment.

The first ticking timebomb to defuse, however, is the DUP’s threat to continue boycotting the executive until the flawed Northern Ireland protocol is ditched.

This post-Brexit agreement effectively places a border down the Irish Sea. But inflexible EU customs checks have severely stunted trade, fuelling Unionist resentment.

If Stormont does not sit, old sectarian tensions will reignite – jeopardising peace.

Boris Johnson must persuade the DUP to end its petulance, while urging Brussels to overhaul how the protocol works.

During Brexit talks, the EU insisted its priority was to maintain stability in Ireland. They must now live up to their word.

  • When the Government announced the BBC licence fee freeze, director general Tim Davie bleated that it would trigger brutal cuts to popular shows. Yet despite those dire warnings, the broadcaster is blowing £50million to find out which programmes audiences don’t like. Not another pointless spending spree with our money! Couldn’t Auntie just check the viewing figures instead?

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