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'Get out of my pub!' Landlord challenges Labour's Starmer over UK COVID rules

·1-min read
PMQs at HOC in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Shouting "Get out of my pub", a landlord in southern England threw out opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer on Monday and berated him for what he said was his failure to challenge the government's COVID-19 lockdown.

Starmer, who was on a campaign trip in the city of Bath before local elections next month, told reporters he "profoundly disagreed" with some of the man's views, including when he questioned whether there should be coronavirus restrictions.

Politicians across the world can often be wrong-footed when they take their message directly to the public, but the scenes of a landlord shouting at Starmer and being restrained by his security were a more dramatic encounter than most.

The landlord, identified as Rod Humphris by the BBC, told Starmer: "You have failed me. I have been a Labour voter my entire life. You have failed to be the opposition, you have failed to ask whether lockdown was functioning.

"Do you understand thousands of people have died because you have failed to do your job and ask the real questions."

The Labour leader, who listened to the landlord, told him he disagreed.

Shortly afterwards he told reporters Humphris "profoundly didn't believe that we should have had a lockdown, he didn't believe there should be restrictions and he queried to some extent, I think, whether there was a pandemic at all.

"Now obviously he is entitled to that view. I'm afraid I profoundly disagree and I think most people across the country would profoundly disagree."

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Alex Richardson)