Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is facing a backlash after one of his most senior frontbenchers described the Covid pandemic as a ‘gift that keeps on giving’ for lawyers.
Lord Falconer, the Shadow Attorney General, used the phrase during a briefing for a top City firm staffed by millionaire lawyers.
The peer insists that he was referring to changes in the law triggered by the crisis, but a source close to the Labour grandee said that he regretted his choice of words.
As well as being a full-time member of the Shadow Cabinet, Lord Falconer – who served as Tony Blair’s Lord Chancellor – is a partner at the international law firm Gibson Dunn, where his duties have included leading its Covid-19 UK Task Force.
Labour declined to reveal details of Lord Falconer’s pay at the company, although it was reported in 2019 that full partners at the firm took home an average of £2.5 million a year.
The embarrassment comes after a torrid week for Starmer, who had to apologise to Boris Johnson for making false accusations in the Commons.