First Partygate and now Beergate
After the fine imposed on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the police are now also investigating British opposition leader Keir Starmer over possible violations of Covid lockdown rules. The Labour leader has admitted to ordering curry in the office with his campaign team in Durham and drinking beer while working. Starmer has said he will resign if he is fined. Will that be enough?
The strategy could pay off
Starmer is making a smart move in accentuating his belief in principles, the Financial Times puts in:
“His biggest selling point to voters was that, unlike the prime minister, he is a man of integrity ... Had he sought to stay on after being fined, his credibility would be shot. If he escapes a fine - as he seems sure he will - he can show himself to be a man of principle. He will be defined in the public mind as someone who believes in obeying the rules and will stand in sharp contrast to a prime minister who does not. He is the dry leader of a party with a limited agenda for power. This move, seemingly brave and principled, could be the making of him.”
The party's over for Starmer
Sooner or later the Labour leader will have to resign, The Sun believes:
“Having got on his high horse about the impromptu birthday party which surprised Boris Johnson and into which Rishi Sunak stumbled, Starmer's breach looks a whole lot worse. And having got every single call wrong on the pandemic - from demanding more lockdowns to backing the EU over vaccines - it is perhaps appropriate that it is Covid rules which could bring him down. ... He now faces choosing between what he repeatedly demanded of the PM - resign while being criminally investigated or resign after getting a fine. Whatever. He looks a dud man walking.”