No, Durham Police are not re-examining allegations that Keir Starmer broke lockdown rules
Suggestions by the Conservative Party and their media allies that the Labour leader is under investigation by the police are completely untrue
Durham Police are not re-examining allegations that Keir Starmer broke lockdown rules last year.
That’s what they explicitly told me yesterday afternoon when I asked them about claims to the contrary that were being pushed by Conservative MP Richard Holden, GB News and the Guido Fawkes blog.
Their claim was based on the fact that Holden had written a letter to the force asking them to re-examine the evidence against Starmer, while submitting a freedom of information request.
Durham Police had previously investigated the allegations against Starmer and found no case to answer.
In their reply to Holden, Deputy Chief Constable Ciaron Irvine said they would “consider the matters you raise under the Freedom of Information Act” and “make enquiries with the investigation team and will update you at the point at which I have been able to conclude those enquiries.”
However, when I asked Durham Police whether the force was now “re-examining” the evidence against Starmer, as claimed by GB News, their spokesperson told me “that’s not the case.”
Tom Harwood @tomhfhEXCLUSIVE: Durham Police to re-examine Keir Starmer beer case.
In a full statement, they told me that: “Durham Police were sent a letter by Richard Holden MP on April 21st. As a courtesy we have replied to Mr. Holden to confirm we have received his letter and will consider its contents before responding in due course.”
Then something strange happened. The Mail Online published a story at 7pm last night which (accurately) stated that the force “face demands” to re-examine the evidence, while (accurately) reporting that their reply to Holden was “a courtesy.”
Yet a few hours later the Daily Mail splashed their front page with a different version of the same story, containing the exact same information as the Mail Online’s previous one, but with completely different framing (inaccurately) suggesting the force *were* reviewing the case.
Interestingly in both versions of the story, the Mail had altered the quote from Durham Police’s Deputy Chief Constable. In the actual letter it stated that he would make “enquiries” with the investigation team, but the Mail had changed his quote to suggest that he would make “inquiries” with the investigation team.
“Enquiry” is a word typically used for informal requests for information, whereas “inquiry” tends to suggest a formal investigation is taking place.
So what is going on?
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