The Speaker
Thursday, 18 July 2024 – 17:22

PMQs: Boris Johnson doubles down on Savile comments

Boris Johnson has doubled down on his controversial comments accusing Starmer of failing to bring Jimmy Savile to justice.

On Tuesday the Prime Minister described Keir Starmer as “a former director of public prosecutions, who spent more time prosecuting journalists and failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile”. This comment drew strong criticism from various conservative and opposition MPs, the speaker Lindsay Hoyle, as well as by the families of Savile’s victims. The discredited claim that Starmer failed to prosecute Savile is based on Starmer being the head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) when Savile was not found guilty. In 2013, Starmer issued an apology on behalf of the CPS, but he was not personally involved in the Savile case.

Earlier today Levelling-Up Secretary Michael Gove said that Johnson had nothing to apologise for regarding his comments.

At PMQs Starmer said:

“Theirs is the party of Winston Churchill. Our parties stood together as we defeated fascism in Europe. Now their leader stands in the house of commons parroting the conspiracy theories of violent fascists to try and score cheap political points.”

To which Boris responded by doubling down on his comments, albeit in a more tactful manner than his original accusation.

“I am informed that [Keir Starmer] apologised and took full responsibility for what had happened on his watch. “

On other topics, Starmer said:

“The Conservatives are the party of high taxes, because they are the party of low growth.”

“If the Tories matched [Labour’s] record on growth, we would have £30 billion more to spend on public services without having to raise a single tax”.

“Today he’s ordering his troops to vote for tax cuts for banks. As a result, the country is missing out on another billion pounds we could have spent cutting taxes for working people. Why are the chancellor and the prime minister protecting oil companies and bank profits while putting taxes up on working people.”

“The and his Chancellor are the tory Thelma and Louise, hand in hand as they drive the country off the cliff.”

The Prime Minister responded by repeating what the government has done to combat the coronavirus and employment being higher now than before the pandemic, along with additional funds given to the NHS in a vote that Labour opposed.

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