Starmer refuses to admit when he entered talks with Partygate buster Gray to join his team after being quizzed SIX times

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer takes part in Call Keir, his regular phone-in on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast show, where he takes calls from LBC listeners across the UK, at the Global Studios, London. Picture date: Monday March 6, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Starmer. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

SQUIRMING Sir Keir Starmer refused to reveal when he first approached Sue Gray about becoming his aide SIX times today.

The Labour Leader admitted on LBC he’s known the top mandarin “personally” for years – but insisted she’s “not a friend”.

Sir Keir Starmer refused to admit when he first approached Sue Gray about being his Chief of Staff SIX times this morning

It comes as outrage continues to ripple across Westminster over Labour’s political appointment of a top civil servant bound by neutrality.

Sir Keir said: “I met her when I was Director of Public Prosecutions and she was a senior civil servant.

“I’m not in the same social circles or anything like that.

“I know her personally in the sense that if I saw her at a reception I would go over and have a discussion with her.”

Ms Gray shot to world wide fame last year when she was handed responsibility for investigating illegal parties in Downing Street during the pandemic.

In a damning report, the mandarin tore into Boris Johnson, describing “failures of leadership and judgment” inside No10.

She said “too little thought” was often given to the public’s hardship during the pandemic.

And her report was largely credited for topping the ex-PM.

This morning Sir Keir claimed he did “nothing improper” as he sought out Sue.

“I’m really pleased that people of her calibre are interested in being my chief of staff,” he said.

But the Labour Leader refused to admit SIX times when talks about the move began.

He mumbled: “That will be laid out by Sue – she’s got to do that as part of her leaving procedure.

“But there’s nothing improper at all.”

Red Wall MP Mark Jenkinson weighed in: “Mr Rules Sir Keir Starmer refusing multiple times to answer on LBC this morning when he first approached Sue Gray.

“What has he got to hide?”

MP Brendan Clarke-Smith added: “It can’t be that hard to answer?

“An inquiry should also be held into Keir Starmer’s communications with Sue Gray.”