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Keir Starmer breaks silence amid growing pressure over John Worboys' release

Liz Bates

5 min read

Labour’s Keir Starmer has spoken out for the first time since the release of a prolific sex attacker, amid calls for him to explain his role in the case. 

Yesterday the Parole Board decided to release former taxi driver John Worboys, who was convicted in 2009 of 19 charges of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women, and one charge of rape.

Mr Starmer was Director of Public Prosecutions when the decision was made not to pursue further charges against Mr Worboys following his conviction.

He has come under fire from former minister Priti Patel, who told the Daily Mail: "This is an appalling reflection on someone who is now a Labour shadow minister of their soft on crime stance and lack of interest in wanting to prosecute such horrendous crimes against women…because Worboys was in prison.”


This morning the Shadow Brexit Secretary broke his silence when confronted by journalists at his London home.

He said: “It is very important that if there are any allegations that anybody thinks have not been looked into sufficiently or at all that they go to the police so they can be looked into.

“It is really important that what is said is factually accurate. As you know the Crown Prosecution Service hold the file on this case. They made the decision in the case and it is really important that you go them to get an accurate read out of the decisions that have been made.”

Mr Starmer has previously indicated he will not discuss the case in detail or any other from his time as DPP.

Meanwhile, MPs have called for an investigation into the decision to free Mr Worboys after just eight years in prison.

Some 58 MPs, led by Labour's Stella Creasy, have written to Justice Secretary David Lidington demanding an urgent investigation.

The letter states: “We are concerned at the management of his application for release and the MOJ’s role in this regard, and the questions this may raise for victims and survivors of serious sexual assault…

“We urge you to act urgently ensure that in the case of Mr Worboy’s and his entitlement to parole, his victim’s voices heard.”  



Yvette Copper, the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, also hit out at the decision.

She said: "John Worboys’ release after only serving his minimum sentence of eight years is a shocking decision by the Parole Board, and deeply upsetting for the victims who have to live with Worboys’ horrific attack for the rest of their lives.

"There are many serious questions why this dangerous man has been given parole after serving such a short sentence for his attacks against women.

"Given the seriousness of this case, the Parole Board should publish their reasons immediately so both the decision and the process can be scrutinised before this man is released. We also need to know what information and support was given to all the victims before this decision was taken."

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Read the most recent article written by Liz Bates - Jeremy Corbyn admits he would rather see a Brexit deal than a second referendum


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