Meetings of no more than six – outdoors – and more rules were in place and not just rules but laws
Keir Starmer has claimed in a BBC interview that the beer-drinking gathering in Durham that he and his deputy Angela Rayner attended breached no ‘rules’.
Below is what the law and Labour’s rules in force at the time said about indoor gatherings – and bear in mind that the by-election was not in Durham, where the party took place, but in more than eighteen miles away in Hartlepool.
BARS, PUBS AND RESTAURANTS
Open outdoors for groups of six people or two households. Those that serve alcohol must provide table service. Closed indoors.
LEISURE AND ACCOMMODATION
Campsites and self-contained holiday accommodation open for visits with your household or support bubble only. Hotels, hostels and B&Bs closed.
Outdoor settings and attractions, such as zoos and theme parks open for visits of two households,
or in a group of up to six people. Drive-in-events open for visits with your household or support bubble.
Indoor entertainment closed.
PLACES OF WORSHIP
Places of worship open and communal worship is permitted, but you must not mix indoors with
anyone outside your household or support bubble.
People who live in a care home in England will be allowed two named regular indoor visitors.
You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble. You can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six people or two households.
COVID-19: Restrictions in England
From 12 April
WORK AND BUSINESS
You should work from home if you can.
Domestic overnight stays are allowed, but you must only stay with members of your household
or support bubble.
You should minimise travel as much as possible. Avoid the busiest times and routes – plan your journey and
what you need at your destination ahead of time.
Labour’s rules for CAMPAIGNS
When giving leaflets to your deliverers we recommend either leaving them outside your home for collection, or leaving them by the door of a deliverer’s home to ensure you are practicing social distancing.
• Stay local – generally within 5 miles of home.
• Keep numbers to an absolute minimum (certainly no more than 4 people from up to 2 households meeting outside) – and maintain 2 metres distance from anyone from another household.
• Ensure that only one person approaches the door to make the delivery.
• Wear a mask, both to reassure the public and to keep yourself and others as safe as possible.
• Don’t stop and talk to people but be polite and courteous if approached and maintain a 2m distance.
• Wash your hands thoroughly before going out and when coming back and, if you can, use hand sanitizer or gloves when out and about.
• NOT go leafleting if you or anyone in your household has been told to self-isolate or if you are feeling unwell.
• NOT post pictures on social media as it can be hard to tell if you are social distancing in photos.
Please note that the following remain banned:
• Door-knocking (canvassing, etc)
• Street stalls
• In-person meetings
Telephone and digital campaigning are very much encouraged.
At the same time, local Labour member groups (CLPs) were banned from meeting in person.
As one Labour insider told Skwawkbox:
The by election was in Hartlepool another constituency.
MPs offices were closed staff were working from home and they received government funding for equipment for the at home arrangements.
It was not Starmer’s workplace. It was not his staffers’ workplace.
If they had to eat and drink, why didn’t they eat outside as was the rule for pubs and eating houses at the time?
Their behaviour was totally wrong and so is Keir’s claim now.
SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.