Keir Starmer has had a campaigning trip disrupted by the landlord of a pub who angrily shouted at him over his support for coronavirus restrictions.
The Labour leader was prevented from entering the the Raven in the centre of Bath by Rod Humphris, the pub’s landlord, who shouted: “That man is not allowed in my pub.”
Video footage from the scene shows a member of Starmer’s security detail holding Humphris back, apparently concerned at the extent of his anger in confronting the Labour leader, who was on a local election campaigning trip.
Other footage taken outside the pub shows Humphris loudly castigating Starmer for supporting restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus, arguing that it primarily affected people in their 80s, and complaining about children being asked to wear masks.
The government had damaged the economy “because old people are dying” and Starmer had not opposed the measures, a furious, finger-jabbing Humphris told him.
After listening for a period, the Labour leader stressed the sacrifices made by NHS staff, telling the landlord, “so I really don’t need lectures from you about this pandemic”, before walking away.
The visit to the pub had reportedly been arranged in advance with members of its staff. Starmer was campaigning in support of Labour’s West of England metro mayoral candidate, Dan Norris, ahead of the election on 6 May.
On Twitter, Labour’s press team 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.”
Starmer 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. Registration closes at midnight on Monday.
Later he posted an image of himself enjoying a pint in what appeared to be a pub beer garden with the caption: “Better late than never…”
The polls in England are to elect several mayors, as well as police and crime commissioners (PCCs) and local councillors. Local elections were postponed last year because of the coronavirus.
Scotland and Wales are holding elections on the same day for their parliaments, and for PCCs in Wales.