‘Always cover up, never the cock up’ Burley leaves MP squirming over 3 Beergate excuses

The Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson was grilled on Kay Burley’s show over Sir Keir Starmer’s vow to resign if he is fined by police. In a dramatic statement on Monday, Sir Keir said he would do the “right thing” if he was issued with a fixed penalty notice in relation to a gathering in Labour offices in Durham in April last year. Ms Burley warned: “It’s always the cover-up, never the cock up that catches people.

“We were told Angela Rayner wasn’t there and she was there.

“We were told it was an impromptu curry and it wasn’t, it was part of the schedule.

“We were told he couldn’t eat anywhere else, he could have eaten at the hotel.”

Ms Phillipson replied: “There was no issue with either Keir or Angela being there.”

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The presenter interjected: “Then why not say it?”

The Labour MP continued: “I think it was an honest mistake. There was no problem with her being there. No rules were broken.

“When politicians are out campaigning during elections and working incredibly hard as Keir was doing, you need some time to have a break and have some food.”

Ms Burley asked: “Do you acknowledge that with hindsight it would have been better to come clean earlier?”

The party has compiled time-stamped logs from WhatsApp chats, documents and video edits, showing they carried on working after the takeaway was delivered – continuing to 1am, The Guardian reported.

A party source said: “We have been totally clear that no rules were broken. We will provide documentary evidence that people were working before and after stopping to have food.”

In his statement, Sir Keir said repeatedly no rules had been broken as he sought to contrast his actions with Boris Johnson who has refused to quit after being fined by the Met Police over a gathering in No 10 in June 2020 to mark his 56th birthday.

But having repeatedly called for Mr Johnson to go for breaking the law, many at Westminster believed he would have no choice but to fall on his sword if he was found to have done so himself.