‘Stop calling me boring!’ Sir Keir Starmer begs his front bench to stop briefing the Press that he is dull
- Keir Starmer is begging front benchers to stop calling him boring in public
- He wants his team to continue attacking the government and Boris Johnson
- A poll found the public considered boring the best way to describe Sir Keir
- He faces a probe by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner over expenses
Sir Keir Starmer has been forced to beg his frontbenchers to stop briefing the Press that he is boring.
The Labour leader told his Shadow Cabinet in response: ‘What’s boring is being in opposition.’
He urged them to focus on attacking the Government, saying it was ‘boring’ to undermine Labour’s project of getting back into power.
According to The Guardian, several people then echoed their leader’s calls for unity and discretion, in a lengthy exchange described by one shadow frontbencher as ‘ironically very boring’.
Sir Keir Starmer, pictured on the campaign trail in Wakefield, has asked his shadow cabinet team to cease referring to him as ‘boring’
It has now emerged the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has announced he is being investigated for failing to declare gifts, including tickets to football matches and royalties from books on time
It follows a poll which found that ‘boring’ was the most common word volunteered by the public to describe the Labour leader. It came as he was facing calls for an investigation into why he failed to declare which ‘mystery’ donors paid him more than £25,000 for legal work before he became Labour leader.
A Tory MP has written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to urge her to investigate further ‘potential breaches’ of the code.
Alexander Stafford asked why Sir Keir registered the receipt of £17,598.60 for ‘legal advice given before 2020’– without saying who paid for it. It followed two previous declarations of £2,399.58 and £5,936 in December 2020. Mr Stafford, MP for Rother Valley, said the payments declared in the register of members’ financial interests failed to ‘disclose the source of this money, or indeed the ultimate client’. He claimed this was a breach of the rules. It comes after Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, announced she is investigating Sir Keir over multiple failures to register gifts from football teams and book royalties on time.
The Labour leader is also awaiting a verdict from Durham Police on whether he broke lockdown rules last year in the so-called ‘Beergate’ scandal – which saw him dubbed him ‘Sir Beer Korma’. It makes him the first Leader of the Opposition to face simultaneous investigations by the police and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
Sir Keir has earned thousands for legal advice since he became an MP, but stopped doing so when he became Labour leader in April 2020.
The Tories have accused him of not being open about all the funding he has received, making a mockery of the system which is meant to allow the public to know whether any payments are above board. Mr Stafford’s letter said: ‘Clearly Mr Starmer’s entry in the register is incomplete as it is impossible to determine what influence the payment he has received might have on his actions and words as a Member of Parliament.’
Sir Keir’s office said last year the donors were not named due to ‘client confidentiality’ and said the arrangement had been agreed with the registrar of members’ interests.