Labour’s Keir Starmer forced to leave pub amid Covid-19 lockdown row with landlord
Rod Humphris appeared to be held back by leader’s security team as he shouted at him
British Labour leader Keir Starmer was forced to leave a pub during a walkabout in Bath on Monday after clashing with a landlord over coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Landlord Rod Humphris (54) appeared to be held back by members of the Labour leader’s security team as he shouted “That man is not allowed in my pub” and “Get out of my pub” at him.
Mr Starmer was campaigning in the city on Monday ahead of the forthcoming UK local elections and it is understood his visit to The Raven pub had been agreed with a co-owner of the establishment.
The confrontation came after Mr Humphris approached the Labour leader in the street outside of the city centre pub, telling him that he did not agree with the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and that Mr Starmer had “failed” the country.
Footage of the incident captured by reporters shows Mr Starmer refer to his wife working in a central London hospital during the crisis, adding: “So I really don’t need lectures from you about this pandemic.”
He then appeared to move inside the premises, which is when Mr Humphris began shouting “Get out of my pub” while he grappled with members of the Labour leader’s team.
The Raven later said on Twitter that it had not intended to “hijack” the Labour leader’s visit to Bath, adding: “Rod’s opinion is his own.”
On why he had asked Mr Starmer to leave, Mr Humphris later told the PA news agency: “I had heard that the Labour Party were coming round and he turned up and I told him what I thought of him, basically.
“I think he has utterly failed us as the leader of the opposition.
“He has completely failed to ask the questions that needed asking, like, why did we throw away our previous pandemic preparedness?
“Why have we just accepted lockdown?
“Why have we just accepted the loss of all our freedoms?”
Mr Humphris told PA that he gave Mr Starmer a “piece of my mind”, adding: “I would say this to any politician, it’s not a partisan matter.”
The Labour Party press office said on Twitter that it would “not be amplifying” the footage of the Labour leader being confronted and the coronavirus restrictions have been “absolutely necessary” in saving lives.
Its tweets said: “A clip circulating online shows Keir Starmer being confronted by someone spreading dangerous misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We will not be amplifying it.”
Mr Starmer later tweeted a link to what he called his “statement on being confronted in a pub today”, which sent people to the page where people can register to vote in the May elections. – PA/Guardian