Sat, 25 June 2022

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Economy
Press releases
By Women in Westminster

Keir Starmer Accuses Boris Johnson Of Spreading "Violent Fascist" Conspiracy Theories After False Jimmy Savile Claim

Keir Starmer Accuses Boris Johnson Of Spreading 'Violent Fascist' Conspiracy Theories After False Jimmy Savile Claim

Starmer accused the Prime Minister of spreading conspiracy theories

3 min read

Keir Starmer has accused Boris Johnson of "parroting" conspiracy theories after false claims about his failure to prosecute Jimmy Savile.

The Labour leader said Johnson had used debunked claims about Jimmy Savile in an attempt to score "cheap political points".

On Monday, Boris Johnson falsely claimed Starmer, who formerly served as director of public prosecutions was responsible for failing to prosecute the paedophile.

The debunked claim is frequently shared among right-wing groups despite there being no evidence that Starmer was involved in the decision not to prosecute Savile. While Starmer was head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) when the decision not to prosecute Savile was made, he was not the lawyer responsible for the decision.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Starmer said: "Theirs is the party of Winston Churchill. Our parties stood together as we defeated facism in Europe.

"Now their leader stands in the House of Commons parroting the conspiracy theories of violent facists to try and score cheap political points."

He added: "He knows exactly what he is doing. It is time to restore some dignity."

But Johnson refused to back down from his claim, pointing out that Starmer had issued an apology on behalf of the CPS in 2013 following a review into the handling of the case.

Johnson told MPs he did not want to "make heavy weather" of the issue as he drew attention to the apology. "I am informed that in 2013, [Starmer] apologised and took full responsibility for what had happened on his watch, and I think that was the right thing to do," he said. 

The Prime Minister has faced criticism from his own MPs over the claims, with former Tory chief whip Julian Smith saying the "false and baseless" attack should be withdrawn.

"The smear made against Keir Starmer relating to Jimmy Savile yesterday is wrong and cannot be defended," he said.

"It should be withdrawn. False and baseless personal slurs are dangerous, corrode trust and can't just be accepted as part of the cut and thrust of parliamentary debate."

Responding to criticisms of the comments, the Prime Minister's spokesperson said Starmer's 2013 apology was a "matter of public record" and dismissed suggestions that Johnson was repeating conspiracy theories.

A former victim of Savile, Miss A, told LBC she was "furious" at the Prime Minister's decision to reference the crimes.

"To have the PM say this... I was furious . It was like he was using it as a flippant thing for other people's purposes," they said.

"It triggered all the flashbacks, the memories. I can't begin to tell you how upset I was. It was so unnecessary."

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by John Johnston - Rachel Reeves and Labour's shadow Treasury team: "We behave like we’re in government"

Categories

Political parties