Keir Starmer has announced he will resign if police fine him for breaking lockdown laws, but insisted “no rules were broken”.
The Labour leader is under investigation for a gathering in Durham in April 2021, where he was pictured drinking a beer.
At the time, the ban on indoor mixing between households remained in place. But there was an exemption for “work purposes”.
Starmer has denied wrongdoing as he simply “stopped for something to eat” during the working day.
But many Conservatives have accused Starmer of hypocrisy given his previous attacks on Boris Johnson for rule breaking.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday afternoon, Starmer said: “If the police decide to issue me with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) I would of course do the right thing and step down.”
The Labour leader said the idea he would “casually break” Covid restrictions was “wrong”.
Labour hope the pledge will heap pressure on the prime minister, who Starmer has called on to quit after he was issued with a fixed penalty notice for attending a birthday party in the Cabinet Office in June, 2020.
Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up secretary, said as a former director of public prosecutions, Starmer would not have broken the law.
“He is Mr Rules, he does not not break the rules,” she told Sky News. “It was not illegal to eat.”
And Wes Streeting, the shadow education secretary, also dismissed the allegations. “Breaking news: Keir Starmer has dinner,” he said.
It is also possible Durham police conclude Starmer did break the rules but do not issued him with a fixed penalty notice (FPN), as the force has previously said it has a policy of not issuing “retrospective” fines.
This was the case when it investigated Dominic Cummings’ infamous trip to Barnard Castle.