International Trade Secretary joins calls for Durham Police to reinvestigate Starmer visit

Berwick MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: "I would absolutely encourage them to look at it." Credit: PA Images

The International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has backed a further police investigation into allegations of an event in Durham where Sir Keir Starmer was photographed drinking a beer.

The Labour leader was photographed drinking a beer during a meeting last April in the Durham constituency office of MP Mary Foy.

Berwick MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: "I understand that there is some work ongoing and I would absolutely encourage them to look at it."

She added: "I'd like Durham Constabulary to look at everything and to - if they felt a fixed penalty notice was the appropriate statement of conclusion of it, in the same way the Metropolitan Police have here for a number of people who were in Downing Street at events that had been deemed unsuitable, then what I would want to see is that same fixed penalty notice.

"I don't think those are resigning matters for anybody."

Sir Keir Starmer claimed that Conservative MPs are "trying to throw mud around" by raising the meeting ahead of the local elections.

When asked if there has been any contact from Durham Police in recent weeks, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme they had already concluded their investigation:

"The police looked at this months ago and came to a clear conclusion that was 'no rules were broken', and that's because no rules were broken.

"Look, they've already concluded their investigation, no rules were broken and this is simply being whipped up as mud-slinging by the Tories."

He added: "We were working, we stopped for food, no party, no rules were broken; I don't know what I can add to that."

Asked if he returned to work after the beer, he replied: "Yes, the idea that nobody works at 10 o'clock at night is absurd."

Anne-Marie Trevelyan isn't the only North East Conservative calling for Durham Constabulary to reinvestigate.

Earlier this month, North West Durham MP Richard Holden urged the police force to reconsider its assessment that no offence was committed during the meeting.

At the time of the gathering relating to Sir Keir, non-essential retail and outdoor venues including pub gardens were open but social distancing rules, which included a ban on indoor mixing between households, remained in place.

Sir Keir told Sky News on Sunday: "Yes. We were in the office, we were working, we paused for something to eat, there was no party, no rules were broken and that is the long and short of it.

"I know what is going on here, we have got an election on Thursday and there are just Tory MPs trying to throw mud around because they have got nothing to say on the central issue of the cost of living."