Keir Starmer ‘beergate’ event was planned, leaked memo shows

It has also emerged the hotel where Sir Keir’s team were staying was serving food until 9pm, raising questions about his defence that all the restaurants were closed.

Defending the event last week, the Labour leader told ITV: “At some point, this was in the evening, everybody’s hungry and then that takeaway was ordered. It was then delivered into the kitchen.

“Restaurants and pubs were closed, so takeaways were really the only way you could eat. So this was brought in and, at various points, people went through the kitchen, got a plate, had some food to eat and got on with their work.”

At the time, England was still under lockdown laws which banned social gatherings indoors, although staff could meet if doing so was “reasonably necessary for work”.

The rules stated “there should not be any sharing of food and drink by staff who do not share a household” and workplaces should “minimise self-serving options for food and drink”.

Separate government guidance on campaigning, which was not legally binding, said that mixing should be kept “to a minimum” with planning meetings “held online or over the phone”. 

The Labour memo even included a reminder about the Covid alert level and stated: “Important note: please maintain social distancing of 2m and wear face coverings whilst indoors at all time.”

Yet the office kitchen where Sir Keir was photographed drinking beer whilst aides stood around with plates of food is said to have been too small for social distancing to have taken place.

Diane Abbott: ‘Sir Keir should consider his position’

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