Labour leader clashes with pub landlord in lockdown row

Sir Keir Starmer was forced to leave a pub during a walkabout in Bath 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.

Sir Keir was campaigning in the city on Monday ahead of the forthcoming elections and it is understood his visit to The Raven had been agreed with a co-owner.

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 pandemic and that Sir Keir had “failed” the country.

Footage of the incident captured by reporters shows Sir Keir 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.

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Sir Keir, who made the visit to Bath to support West of England metro mayoral candidate Dan Norris ahead of the local elections, left the premises following the confrontation.

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 Sir Keir 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?”

Sir Keir Starmer hands pub landlord Rod Humphris a pen before leaving. (PA)
Sir Keir Starmer hands pub landlord Rod Humphris a pen before leaving. (PA)

Mr Humphris told PA that he gave Sir Keir 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 restrictions have been “absolutely necessary” in saving lives.

The 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.

“Keir argued that our NHS staff have been working tirelessly to protect public health and that restrictions, while painful, have been absolutely necessary to save lives.”