'No police contact', says Keir Starmer as he defends 'beer and takeaway' photos

How could allegations that Keir Starmer broke lockdown rules affect Labour in the polls? ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports

Sir Keir Starmer has said police have not contacted him again after closing an investigation into an alleged breach of Covid lockdown rules.

The Labour leader was asked if he had been questioned by officers since an initial probe, after photos showed him having a beer and a takeaway in the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy while campaigning ahead of the Hartlepool by-election.

Reports suggest, as Good Morning Britain co-host Richard Madeley pointed out, there may have been 30 takeaway meals along with bottles of beer.

Speaking to GMB on Wednesday, Sir Keir said of the police: “I think they put out a statement last week saying they’re not reinvestigating and they haven’t spoken to me.”

Describing the incident, he said: “We’re on the road at the end of the day, we’re in the office preparing.

“Now, that evening, from memory, we were doing an online event for members because we had this get out the vote thing.”

Sir Keir added: “At some point, this was in the evening, everybody’s hungry and then that takeaway was ordered. It was then delivered into the kitchen of the offices…

“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.”

Durham Police later released a statement, saying it had "received a number of recent communications on this subject", which it is "considering and will respond in due course".

The force said it will not comment further.

The Labour leader insisted to GMB “we were very careful to abide by the rules” and said his wife’s elderly father had been shielding during that time, meaning she had to sit on the pavement outside his house.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson was grilled over the government’s support for people struggling to make ends meet as energy bills soar.

He told GMB that support of around £350 to help people deal with soaring prices "isn't going to be enough immediately to cover everybody's costs."

The PM was told of 77-year-old pensioner Elsie, who to manage her finances now eats only one meal a day and uses her free bus pass to ride the bus all day, rather than use energy by being at home - but his response raised eyebrows.

“Just to remind you that the 24 hour freedom bus pass was something that I introduced," Mr Johnson said, in a comment that immediately sparked anger on social media.

He also rejected calls from Labour and the Liberal Democrats to impose a windfall tax on the huge profits of oil and gas companies.

Sir Keir said the prime minister’s argument doesn’t “hold water.”

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He added: “What we’ve said is that you should have a windfall tax on that excess profit and use that to help people with their energy bills for up to £600, for those that need it the most.

“That is a practical answer to what has been the single most pressing issue across the whole of the country as I have gone around it.”

BP has made £5 million profit in the last quarter - its highest ever quarterly results. 

He continued: “I agree by the way, that oil and gas companies need to invest, that’s why we’re not proposing that we tax the profit they expected to make.”