Angela Rayner was present at Sir Keir Starmer lockdown beers, Labour confirm

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Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner did attend an event where Sir Keir Starmer was caught on camera drinking beer with activists during lockdown, the party has confirmed.

Labour acknowledged it had previously told journalists Ms Rayner was not present at the gathering last April when coronavirus restrictions were in force.

But a party source said it was a "mistake made in good faith" and Sir Keir has insisted it "makes absolutely no difference" as no rules had been broken.

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The event took place in the Durham constituency office of the local MP Mary Foy in the run-up to the Hartlepool by-election.

At the time, people in England were banned from mixing indoors apart from for work.

Richard Holden, the Conservative MP for North West Durham, has been pressing police to reconsider their decision not investigate the event following the fine issued to Boris Johnson for attending a birthday gathering in No 10.

But Labour has rejected that there is any equivalence with the Downing Street partygate scandal, which has rocked the government.

Durham Police confirmed it had received "a number of further communications" that it will be responding to, but said it is not currently investigating the matter.

Sir Keir said: "Everything that we, the Labour Party did, was in accordance with the rules.

"That is a huge contrast to the position of the government.

"We now know that there have been 50 fines issued in relation to the goings on in Downing Street. That makes it probably the most fined workplace in the whole of the United Kingdom.

"Now I know what's going on here. We're a few days away from local elections and Conservative MPs are trying to throw as much mud as possible."

He added: "There was no breach of the rules. So there's absolutely no comparison to be made here."

Meanwhile, Mr Holden has said he has accepted an apology from Ms Foy after she had "drunkenly" abused him on the Commons terrace on Tuesday night for asking police to review claims Sir Keir broke lockdown rules.

The incident, reportedly witnessed by several people, happened as MPs waited for late-night votes.

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In a statement posted on Twitter, Mr Holden said: "Mary Kelly Foy has given me a wholehearted apology after, unprovoked, she drunkenly approached, berated and grabbed me on the terrace of parliament on Tuesday evening in front of other MPs and members of staff.

"I have accepted her apology and consider the matter closed."

A party source confirmed Ms Foy had issued a personal apology.

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