LABOUR has now admitted that its deputy leader Angela Rayner was at the Durham Miners’ Hall last April when leader Sir Keir Starmer was pictured with a bottle of beer at the height of lockdown.

The party has said that its original insistence that she was not present was a genuine error, and had nothing to do with an attempt to stop the gathering from looking like a party. How that genuine error came to be made is a little hard to understand when she took part in an internet rally that was broadcast from Durham and watched by 16,000 members.

And, if Durham Police have investigated the gathering fully, they must also be aware of her presence.

Until this about-turn, most people will have thought that the Conservatives’ interest in the Durham event was just an attempt to fling mud in the hope that some would stick so that Mr Starmer looked as muddy as Boris Johnson.

Now Labour has done their dirty work for them.

It is entirely possible that the Labour leadership was fully complying with the restrictions during the Durham visit which was as a part of legitimate campaigning.

And a single work-orientated gathering when out on the road looks nothing like as bad as the repeated and cultural post-work parties that were habitual among the law-makers who were based in Downing Street.

But it doesn’t look good.

Now many people, who don’t drill down into the detail, may begin to believe that one lot are as bad as the other lot – and that would let Mr Johnson off the hook.