DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Sanctimonious Sir Keir must apologise – Sound Health and Lasting Wealth

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When is swigging beer with chums indoors during a strict lockdown not breaking the rules? Why, when Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer does it, apparently!

Desperately trying to weasel his way out of trouble after incriminating photos emerged of him boozing with staff members in an office, he says he was at a work meeting.

Yet when Boris Johnson used the same excuse to defend restriction-flouting drinks in the Downing Street garden (a safer environment against spreading Covid than a stuffy room), the pious leader of the Opposition demanded his resignation.

Keir Starmer says he was at a staff meeting when he was seen boozing with workers 

Why won’t he apologise? Sir Keir should remember those in glass houses ought not to throw stones. He hectors the Government for thinking there is one rule for them and one for the rest of us. But it is nothing more than sanctimonious humbug.

Regardless of Sir Keir’s dissembling, this has been a very difficult week for the Prime Minister. But while the upset caused by the ‘Partygate’ scandal mustn’t be downplayed, isn’t it time for a sense of perspective?

So it is encouraging to see him getting firmly on the front foot.

He promises to chop dead wood from an ill-disciplined No 10 operation. Levelling-up plans, aimed at improving lives in Red Wall seats, will be published imminently.

And the Armed Forces will help crack down on Channel migrants – a priority for voters. A word of warning, though, PM: The public will feel sorely cheated if these are just attention-deflecting headlines.

It is critical we get our Covid-blighted country back on its feet.

The crippling cost of living crisis is only one of several headaches hurtling towards the Government. It’s vital Britain now looks to the future – and doesn’t remain mired by misjudgments from the past.

Switch off the bias

Once the BBC was revered as a bastion of honest, impartial journalism.

Today, it is woefully out of touch with its core audience, riddled with metropolitan Left-wing orthodoxy, and openly prejudiced against the Tory Government.

Nothing illustrates this more starkly than director-general Tim Davie’s surprise that ministers conflate discussions about bias with those about the licence fee. Does he really not get it? The corporation can show favouritism all it likes … but shouldn’t then expect to suck up taxpayers’ money.

Now the Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries suggests the licence fee is to end. In an era of multiple-choice streaming services such as Netflix, this compulsory £3.7billion tax – which sees the elderly threatened with prison if they can’t pay – feels as archaic as a black-and-white TV set.

Don’t get us wrong: The BBC’s best output is of the highest quality. But thanks to its perpetual anti-conservative harping, the monolith is hastening its own demise.

With breathtaking effrontery, Prince Harry is threatening to take legal action against the Government for stripping him of police protection when his family visit Britain. What brass neck! The Duke of Sussex lost this taxpayer-funded perk when he quit royal life. Yes, he has offered to pay. But the police, who would have to ditch other duties, aren’t for hire to the highest bidder. What doesn’t he understand? If he doesn’t want the monarchy’s drawbacks, he can’t have its trappings.

  • Politically partisan and monumentally arrogant, John Bercow was already the most disreputable Commons Speaker in modern times. Now the standards watchdog has found him guilty of bullying staff. Grumbling the inquiry was ‘unjust’ (rich given his contempt for fairness when trying to thwart Brexit), this tinpot tyrant will appeal. If he loses, he faces a life ban from Parliament – and no chance of a coveted peerage. That happy day can’t come too soon.

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