Your round, Keir - accountability, hypocrisy & pints

Just one day after what many commentators have described as his best performance to date in PMQs, Keir Starmer was branded a hypocrite after a photo resurfaced of him drinking with peers last year. Can he still hold the PM accountable?

Your round, Keir - accountability, hypocrisy & pints

Just one day after what many people considered to have been a crowing performance in the Commons, Keir Starmer ironically fell in the same pot of hot water as his partisan nemesis - Boris Johnson.  An admittedly grainy photo has resurfaced of him having a beer alongside four of his peers in May 2021, despite the country being in a phase two lockdown where indoor mixing was prohibited (unless for work). Labour's Emily Thornberry has come out in defence of her party’s leader and advocating his innocence, insisting that he had simply been visiting a colleague in the lead-up to the local by-election in Hartlepool. Afterward, he had a drink and some food which was when the supposedly ill-timed photograph was taken.  This did not suffice for some however and has led to scathing criticism, with one Tory source lambasting; “Sir Keir has spent the past two months critisising people for doing the exact same thing he’s been doing himself. He is an absolute hypocrite”

Is Keir living in a glass house?

The photo has facilitated a debate as to whether or not it is hypocritical for Starmer to criticise Johnson, with some believing that both men have committed equally egregious acts and are as bad as eachother. The problem with this line of reasoning is whilst one cannot possibly excuse the behaviour of Stamer, Labour is ultimately the only party who can really hold both the prime minister and his party accountable. Considering the electoral insignificance and relative clout of other parties such as the Liberal Democrats, (who at the time of writing this article hold only a meagre thirteen seats within the House Of Commons)  Labour is the only party who can reasonably pose any sort of challenge to the dominant Conservatives. This is not to excuse for even a single moment the clear flouting of the then lockdown rules by Starmer, who by all accounts certainly deserves the criticism that he is receiving for the resurfaced photograph. Starmer may however be the lesser of two evils for those who want to see justice delivered to Johnson, the former certainly is not perfect but as of right now he may just be the best option the electorate has. Yes, he may be living in a glass house but he is also the only one with stones ready to hurl at Johnson. 

Header Image Credit: chongodog

Author

Dheeraj Chutani

Dheeraj Chutani Kickstart

Dheeraj is a recent postgraduate having graduated with a BA and MA in Politics from The University Of Leicester. He is interested in all things politics and current affairs but when he is not catching up with all the latest headlines, he enjoys reading, jogging, weight-lifting and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

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