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More questions were raised over Beergate tonight after a takeaway driver claimed to have delivered ‘quite a big order’ of four bags of curries, rice and naans to the ‘work meeting’. 

The driver estimated there were ‘probably about 30 or so people’ inside – but he later U-turned on his story. Sir Keir Starmer insisted ‘no rules were broken’ as he accused the Tories of ‘trying to throw mud around’ ahead of Thursday’s local elections. 

The Daily Mail spoke to a staff member at the award-winning The Capital Indian restaurant not far from Durham Miners Hall – where Sir Keir was filmed drinking beer – who initially said he brought ‘about four bags’ of food. 

During the first national lockdown The Capital was hailed by local Labour MP Mary Foy – who was among those at the 10pm gathering in her constituency office – for supplying meals to NHS staff.

Sir Keir Starmer insisted ‘no rules were broken’ as he accused the Tories of ‘trying to throw mud around’ ahead of Thursday’s local elections

Sir Keir Starmer insisted ‘no rules were broken’ as he accused the Tories of ‘trying to throw mud around’ ahead of Thursday’s local elections

Sir Keir Starmer insisted ‘no rules were broken’ as he accused the Tories of ‘trying to throw mud around’ ahead of Thursday’s local elections

However, after the Mail continued to make enquiries last night, the delivery driver changed his story, claiming he had never even been to the Miners Hall. 

The Labour leader was staying at Durham’s Radisson Blu hotel where food was served outside on its terrace until 9pm. 

But Sir Keir had previously said the hotel he was staying in wasn’t serving food. In addition to Sir Keir and Miss Foy, the 43-second footage of the gathering shows a mystery blonde-haired woman, and two young male Labour aides eating what appear to be naan bread from plates. 

A sixth person – a man – can briefly be seen walking along a corridor at the far end of the small kitchen in which they were meeting. 

In May 2020, Mrs Foy posed for photographs with head chef Syed Islam and other staff at The Capital as they displayed a banner highlighting how they had supplied complementary meals for ‘NHS heroes’ treating Covid patients at University Hospital North Durham.

Redhills, the home of the Durham Miners Association in Durham, County Durham

Redhills, the home of the Durham Miners Association in Durham, County Durham

Redhills, the home of the Durham Miners Association in Durham, County Durham

In a glowing endorsement posted on her website, she said: ‘This is another heart-warming example of how the communities and businesses in my brilliant constituency look out for one another. 

‘I hope all the staff who received one of Syed’s incredible meals enjoyed them. 

‘I was lucky enough to sample one and I can confirm that his status as an award-winning chef is very much deserved. Well done to Team Capital! 

Asked at 11am yesterday whether the restaurant had delivered the food seen being consumed in the video, the delivery driver recalled it being ‘quite a big order’ of curries, rice and naan bread. ‘It was about four bags of stuff,’ he said. 

‘There were a few people. 

Probably about 30 or so.’ Questioned as to whether it looked like a party, he said it had not, adding that the people present seemed ‘quite spread out’. 

However after saying he needed to speak to a manager, his account later changed. At 5pm he insisted he had been mistaken in his earlier comments and that other drivers had been carrying out deliveries at that time. 

Shown a photograph of the Miners Hall, he insisted: ‘I have never been there before.’ Interviewed about the gathering on LBC radio in January, Sir Keir said: ‘No restaurants were open, no pubs were open. 

The hotel we were staying in had no food, they didn’t run food. ‘So if you didn’t get a takeaway then our team wasn’t eating that evening.’

 Durham Police are facing mounting calls to launch a new probe into the event, having announced in February that no rules had been broken. 

The students who filmed the video clip said yesterday they were willing to provide a full statement to officers. The Labour Party was approached for comment.

Source: Daily Mail

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