‘Desperate’ Starmer drops Partygate attack on PM | Politics | News

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The Labor leader was mocked last night after it emerged his voter watch message excluded any reference to Partygate. It comes as pressure mounts on Durham Police to reopen the investigation into him having a late night beer and takeaway curry with Labor activists and his deputy leader Angela Rayner. But last night Labor rejected the request with a source adding: ‘We are very happy to continue talking about partygate!’

Tory MP for Ipswich Tom Hunt said the reason for the Labor leader’s change of course was a focus on his own alleged criminal behavior which had left him “desperate”.

He said: “Starmer was wrong to focus on Partygate instead of more pressing concerns for ordinary voters across the country.

“But the trigger for this change in tactics is the issue of his own involvement in potential lockdown breaches with this event in Durham.

“Yesterday he was asked more questions that he just couldn’t answer.

“Starmer was asked four times if he had been contacted by Durham Police, which he was unable to answer.

‘He can’t explain what he did working past 10pm on a Friday when he was photographed with the beer.

“He can’t explain the difference between what he did and the Prime Minister and the Chancellor [Rishi Sunak] eat cake for which they were fined.

“They said Angela Rayner wasn’t there, then admitted she was.

“Partygate is no longer a tactic because itself has too many questions to answer.”

READ MORE: Tracker poll: Blow as Tories close the gap to partygate

Ashfield Conservative MP Lee Anderson added: ‘Starmer has spent the last two months talking about Partygate. The public is tired of hearing the same old line and wants to hear about the politicians.

“The penny may have finally dropped for Starmer a day before local elections, but the problem is that Labor has no credible policy to discuss.”

Even before the so-called ‘beergate’ controversy at his April 30 rally last year, Starmer had come under heavy criticism in his own party for not talking about policies and instead ‘hitting on partygate”.

Shadow Communities Secretary Lisa Nandy, a former leadership candidate, led a revolt at a recent shadow cabinet meeting against her capricious tactics and too much focus on the behavior of the prime minister.

But a Labor spokesman dismissed the idea that Starmer was avoiding Partygate.

He said: “Our campaign has focused on the Government’s pathetic failures in tackling the cost of living crisis and on Labour’s plans to help people pay their household bills. This is problem number one. one the country is facing and the thing conservatives are desperate to avoid.”

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Polls found that nearly six in ten voters made the cost of living their number one issue.

Last week’s Techne UK/Express tracking poll showed Labour’s lead dropped by one point to 5% over the Tories.

And with just 24 hours to go until local elections, Sir Keir finally tried to solve the problem.

In his pre-election message, he instead promised an emergency budget for the cost of living.

He said: “Right now people all over the country are working hard, paying more, but getting less. Prices and taxes are rising, but wages are not.

“The Conservatives are not doing anything to help people now. Instead, they made the situation worse by imposing 15 Tory tax hikes – including this month’s National Insurance hike on businesses and workers.

“Labour’s plan to tackle the cost of living crisis is putting money back in your pocket. Our call for an emergency budget would mean immediate action.

“We would not go ahead with this unfair Conservative tax hike on working people, which is the wrong tax at the wrong time.”

He promised to save £600 on fuel bills and insulate homes that need it.

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