Keir Starmer thought complaints over Tracy Brabin's brownie giveaway were 'a joke'

Sir Keir Starmer said he was shocked that “anyone would take seriously” complaints that Labour’s West Yorkshire mayoral candidate was handing out brownies in an alleged breach of electoral law.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visits St Mary's Community Centre in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, to meet with community workers and ex-miners during campaigning for the election for West Yorkshire mayor. Photo: PA

Conservative candidate Matt Robinson reported Ms Brabin to the police after posts on Twitter appeared to show her handing out brownies in ‘Vote Labour’ packaging, which he said was a breach of ‘treating’ rules which forbid the giving of anything, including food, which may sway voters.

West Yorkshire Police have since confirmed they will not take action over the claims and on a visit to West Yorkshire today Sir Keir said the saga had been a waste of the authorities’ time.

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He said: “When I first heard this I thought it was a joke, that anyone would take this seriously.

“But Tracy’s not offered me any brownies so I’m going to be talking to her about this later on!”

Labour said yesterday that the treats were only given to party members who had helped with canvassing, so were not a breach of the rules.

And a West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "West Yorkshire Police can confirm that after an investigation following the circulation of social media posts and a direct complaint re electoral matters that no offences have been recorded."

Mr Robinson said yesterday: “This goes to show how desperate Labour are in West Yorkshire. This is now a matter for the police to investigate further. Meanwhile I’m concentrating on speaking with residents of West Yorkshire and about my pledges for our boosting our region’s economy, delivering more police on the beat and connecting our public transport system.”

A Labour source said: “While Tracy has been talking to voters about her ambitious plans to sort out transport, back the police, create jobs and lead our recovery from the pandemic, it’s telling that the Tories and Lib Dems have resorted to wasting police time complaining about what cakes she offers party members after a hard day’s campaigning.”