Boris Johnson has stepped back from his use of a discredited claim against Sir Keir Starmer that he failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile when he was director of public prosecutions (DPP).

After days of criticism over the remark, including from a number of his own Conservative MPs, the prime minister said he wanted to “clarify” the point he was attempting to make.
“I want to be very clear about this because a lot of people have got very hot under the collar, and I understand why,” Mr Johnson said.
“Let’s be absolutely clear, I’m talking not about the Leader of the Opposition‘s personal record when he was DPP and I totally understand that he had nothing to do personally with those decisions.
“I was making a point about his responsibility for the organisation as a whole.
“I really do want to clarify that because it is important.”

‘Ridiculous slur’

Facing Mr Johnson at PMQs on Wednesday, Sir Keir challenged the PM over his remarks, which were made in the Commons on Monday as he faced MPs in the wake of the release of a partial version of Sue Gray’s partygate report.

The Labour leader accused him of using the “conspiracy theories of violent fascists” to score political points, having described it as a “ridiculous slur peddled by right-wing trolls” during an interview with Sky News on Tuesday.
Mr Johnson replied: “On his first point, I don’t want to make heavy weather of this but I am told that in 2013, he apologised and took full responsibility for what had happened on his watch.
“I think that was the right thing to do.”

Former BBC television and radio presenter Savile, who died in 2011, is believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

He was never brought to justice for his crimes.
A 2016 report into his abuse found staff at the corporation missed numerous chances to stop him.

Fact check

In 2020, fact-checking charity Full Fact looked into the claim Sir Keir had stopped Savile being charged in 2009, when Sir Keir was head of the CPS.

It said the decision not to prosecute Savile was made on the grounds of “insufficient evidence”, with the allegations against the DJ dealt with by local police and a reviewing lawyer for the CPS.
“A later investigation criticised the actions of both the CPS and the police in their handling of the situation,” Full Fact found.
“It did not suggest that Mr Starmer was personally involved in the decisions made.”

‘We’re better than this’, Tory MP says

Mr Johnson’s spokesman had previously said he “stands by” the comments – and in the aftermath of PMQs asserted that Sir Keir’s apology was a “matter of public record”.

Victims of Savile have urged the PM to withdraw the claim, while some Conservative MPs also criticised Mr Johnson for his comments.

Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, said the “false allegation” should be withdrawn.

Tobias Ellwood, who told Sky News he will be submitting a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson, questioned why the PM made such a remark.
“We’re better than this, we must seek to improve our standards and rise above where we are today,” he told Kay Burley on Wednesday.

However, it was obviously a tactic by Johnson that could disastrously backfire on the Tory party. Evidence clearly exists that the pathways to Savile’s victims were opened up over and over by senior Tories.

The video below discusses Starmer’s responsibility and then blows the lid on how the Conservative party is complicit in Savile’s heinous crimes.

For anyone who is a victim of sexual… abuse please find a list of places for support, help and advice.

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