Boris Johnson Will Not Apologise For Savile Comments Despite Starmer Mob Ambush

The prime minister has come under pressure to withdraw his remarks from many of his own MPs.
Keir Starmer was bundled into a police car following the incident
Keir Starmer was bundled into a police car following the incident
Conor Noon via PA Media

Boris Johnson will not apologise for his comments about Jimmy Savile despite calls from Tory MPs for him to do so after Keir Starmer was confronted by an angry mob, HuffPost UK understands.

The prime minister has come under increased pressure from his own party colleagues after the incident on Monday night.

Starmer had to be bundled into a police car after being ambushed near Parliament, with some protesters heard shouting about Savile and calling the Labour leader a “paedophile protector”.

It led to calls for the prime minister to say sorry for his untrue claim in the Commons last week that Starmer had failed to prosecute the notorious sex offender when he was Director of Public Prosecutions.

He eventually “clarified” his comments by insisting he did not believe Starmer was personally responsible.

Julian Smith, the former Conservative Chief Whip, led calls for Johnson to apologise.

He tweeted: “What happened to Keir Starmer tonight outside parliament is appalling. It is really important for our democracy & for his security that the false Savile slurs made against him are withdrawn in full.”

Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative chair of the defence select committee, tweeted: “PM - Apologise please. We claim to be the Mother of all Parliaments. Let’s stop this drift towards a Trumpian style of politics from becoming the norm. We are better than this.”

Other Conservative MPs to criticise the PM included Stephen Hammond, Robert Largan and Aaron Bell.

In a tweet, Johnson condemned the attack on Starmer and “all forms of harassment”, but stopped short of an apology.

Downing Street sources this morning made it clear that Johnson has no intention of saying sorry.

“His tweet last night made it clear he condemns the mob,” said a source.

“The fact is that Starmer himself apologised for what happened on his watch in 2013.”

Meanwhile, digital minister Chris Philp this morning insisted the PM was not to blame for the intimidation of Starmer.

He said: They did mention Jimmy Savile. They also mentioned Julian Assange repeatedly, they mentioned Covid, they also mentioned the opposition more generally.

“I don’t think you can point to what the prime minister said as the cause of that. You certainly can’t blame him for the fact that that mob were clearly behaving in a totally unacceptable way.”


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