PM 'within his rights' to make Jimmy Savile claim about Keir Starmer, says Tory MP

3 February 2022, 19:18

PM 'within his rights' to make Jimmy Savile claim about Keir Starmer, says Tory MP

By Sam Sholli

Boris Johnson was "within his rights" to claim that Sir Keir Starmer as Director of Public Prosecutions failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile, Tory MP Simon Clarke has told LBC.

Keir Starmer was leading the CPS when a decision was made no to charge Jimmy Savile, but he wasn’t the reviewing lawyer for the case.

Keir Starmer later commissioned an official investigation which criticised both the police and prosecutors for how they handled the allegations.

Iain Dale put Tory MP Simon Clarke on the spot over the Chancellor distancing himself from Boris Johnson's comment, which the Prime Minister made earlier this week.

Mr Sunak told a press conference: "Being honest I wouldn't have said it and I'm glad that the Prime Minister clarified what he meant."

His words come after Boris Johnson's policy chief Munira Mirza has resigned over the Prime Minister's widely-condemned remark.

Referring to Mr Johnson said, Iain asked: "Would you have said that if you were the Prime Minister?"

"Well, what Rishi [Sunak] said is that he's glad the Prime Minister clarified his remarks.

"And that's exactly what, of course, the PM did."

Mr Clarke went on to say: "He made it clear that if you are leading an organisation, whether that be the CPS or Number 10 Downing Street, you are responsible for its wider achievements and its wider failings.

"And of course Keir Starmer did apologise back in 2013 for what happened, or rather didn't happen, with jimmy Savile.

"That is the point the Prime Minister was making."

Mr Clarke said that the Prime Minister has been asked "to assume responsibility for the actions of many of his team" and has done so.

Speaking of Munira Mirza's resignation, the Conservative MP said: "I genuinely do regret the fact Munira has left. She is a wonderfully talented public servant.

"But it is also the case that I think the Prime Minister was within his rights to say what he said and to point out that ultimately if you head an organisation then you are responsible for it. I don't think that's something that many people would find a debatable proposition really."