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Boris Johnson accused of 'an affront to victims' of child abuse over 'spaffed up the wall' claim

2 min read

Children's charities and abuse support groups have torn into Boris Johnson after he claimed that money spent investigating historical sex crimes was being "spaffed up the wall".

The NSPCC branded the former Foreign Secretary's remarks "an affront to victims", while Offside, set up to help survivors of child sexual abuse in football, said he had caused "untold upset and offence among survivors".

The Tory heavyweight made the claim during a discussion with LBC about police resources.

He said: "Keeping numbers high on the streets is certainly important. But it depends where you spend the money and where you deploy the officers.

"And one comment I would make is I think an awful lot of money and an awful lot of police time now goes into these historic offences and all this malarkey.

"You know, £60m I saw was being spaffed up a wall on some investigation into historic child abuse."

It is not clear what the £60m figure Mr Johnson raised was referring to.

But the NSPCC said investigating past cases of abuse was vital - and took aim at the former Cabinet minister.

A spokesperson said: "Bringing child abuse perpetrators to justice is not a ‘malarkey’ and such crass language is an affront to victims who have suffered in silence for decades.

"Investigation of historic allegations is an important part of creating a culture where we can talk more openly about abuse.

"These investigations will also help us all to learn lessons so that as a society we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Meanwhile Chris Unsworth of Offside said Mr Johnson's remarks had been "ignorant, dangerous, disgraceful and unbelievably distasteful".

The group's director added: "Not only has he caused untold upset and offence among survivors and their families affected by child abuse, he has failed to understand that learning mistakes from the past is critical to keeping our children today safe.

"Boris Johnson clearly has no understanding whatsoever of the issues involved. On behalf of the thousands of people impacted by child abuse we demand an apology."

Labour has already urged the Tory MP to apologise for the comments, while MP Rupa Huq told PoliticsHome accused Mr Johnson of trying to "play to the gallery of his diminishing and increasingly extreme party in order to win the leadership" of the Conservatives.

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