Sir Keir Starmer has hit out at claims he is a “hypocrite” over calling for Boris Johnson’s resignation after a picture of him drinking with party staff, re-emerged.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said a photograph of him drinking with a number of party staff in a constituency office last year was “no breach of the rules” and there was “no comparison” with the Prime Minister.

Appearing on the BBC, Sir Keir was asked about the picture published in the Daily Mail, which first emerged in spring last year.

Last May Starmer was pictured drinking with party staff, with the image having been taken outside the window of a constituency office in Durham in the days leading up to the Hartlepool by-election.

At the time England was in step two out of the third lockdown and indoor mixing between different households was prohibited except in work scenarios.

Keir Starmer responds to lockdown drinking allegations

Appearing on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, Sir Keir said: “I was in a constituency office just days before the election. We were very busy. We were working in the office.

“We stopped for something to eat and then we carried on working. No party, no breach of the rules and absolutely no comparison with the Prime Minister.”

He added: “It was perfectly lawful to meet for work, which is what we were doing. The party that was put to the Prime Minister on Wednesday happened because an invitation was sent to 100 people saying ‘let’s have some socially distant drinks in the garden and bring your own booze’. There is simply no comparison.”

Labour has always denied any rules were broken, saying in a statement: "Keir was in the workplace, meeting a local MP in her constituency office and participating in an online Labour Party event.

"They paused for dinner as the meeting was during the evening."

Bournemouth Echo: Sir Keir Starmer insists no lockdown rules were broken. (PA)Sir Keir Starmer insists no lockdown rules were broken. (PA)

Sir Keir Starmer calls for Covid Plan B restrictions to be scrapped

During the interview, Sir Keir reiterated that Boris Johnson must resign “in the national interest” as he has “lost all authority” in the country.

When asked about Plan B measures, the Labour leader insisted it is important they are lifted because the “medical science says they should be lifted” and not because the Prime Minister is “in a real mess”.

Sir Keir said: “I hope those restrictions can be lifted as soon as possible, but I want them to be lifted because the medical science says they should be lifted, not simply because the Prime Minister is in a real mess and he’s desperately trying to get out of it.

“So, if it’s the right thing to lift those restrictions, we will vote to lift those restrictions. But we’ll be led by the science as we always have been, not by the politics of propping up a broken Prime Minister.”