Labour’s Angela Rayner says party will find new leadership ‘quickly’ if fined by Durham police

Angela Rayner has suggested she will not appeal if fined by Durham Police for a breach of Covid rules and said the party will be able to find new leadership “very quickly” if required.

In a high-stakes gamble both Labour’s deputy leader and Sir Keir Starmer have pledged to resign if issued with a fixed penalty notice, but have repeatedly insisted no rules were broken when beer and curry was consumed after a campaigning event in April 2021.

The pair returned questionnaires to Durham Constabulary three weeks’ ago and are awaiting the verdict of detectives’ investigations.

Asked if she and Sir Keir will not appeal against the police’s conclusions, the Labour deputy leader told BBC’s Today programme: “Well, yeah, we’ll accept the findings.

“You know, it’s very clear that both myself and Keir believe that we believe in the rule of law.

“We believe that if you’re a lawmaker, you can’t be a lawbreaker, and that we couldn’t lead the party under those conditions,” she added.

“We’ve got a prime minister who spent the last couple of months trying to cling to power that has devastated the British public and we’ve not been dealing with the issues that matter to them”.

Pressed on how quickly Labour would have a new leader in place, Ms Rayner replied: “Well, we could do it very quickly.

“I mean, our procedures would be that the NEC would delegate the timetable, but we’ve got a host of talent in our party that could step forward, because we are one team and we are a government in waiting.

But she stressed: “As I say, both myself and Keir are very confident that we didn’t break any rules.

“We were very clear of the contract with the British public when we voted for those restrictions that they were in place to keep people safe and we adhered to those and we’ve complied with Durham police and we’ll continue to do (so).

“We’re very confident that we’ll continue to lead our party as we have done since we were both elected into victory so that we can govern for the British people and deal with a cost-of-living crisis and things that matter to them.”

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