A Minister has defended the Prime Minister and said his remarks that Sir Keir Starmer failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile is “not to blame” for the protestors attacking the Labour leader.
Speaking to Sky New, Technology Minister Chris Philip said that Boris Johnson’s remarks in the Commons “did not prompt the terrible harassment and intimidation” of Sir Keir on Monday.
Philip described the incident as “completely unacceptable” and also said that Johnson has “clarified” his remarks.
The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and the Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy were rescued by police on Monday evening after a mob shouted false claims about Savile.
The mob of protestors and anti-vaxxers falsely accused Sir Keir of “protecting” the paedophile and shouted “traitor.”
Monday’s incident has sparked condemnation of Johnson and Tory and Labour MPs are calling for him to apologise over his slur against the Labour leader.
“I don’t think you can point to what the Prime Minister said as the cause of that,” Philp told Sky News.
He added, “You certainly can’t blame him for the fact that that mob were clearly behaving in a totally unacceptable way.
“Keir Starmer’s own website says he was responsible overall for the CPS, and, in fact, Keir Starmer himself apologised for the CPS’s failings, just in the same way that the PM has apologised for the failings in No.10.”
Conservative peer Lord Lilley, a former Cabinet Minister, said, “we’re all getting a bit precious about this.”
He told BBC Newsnight, “Both sides are saying the person at the top of the organisation is responsible for what happens further down … both sides should probably apologise and stop making personal remarks.”
Senior Conservative backbencher Sir Roger Gale said he fears that the “grim scenes”are a “result of the deliberately careless use of language” in the House of Commons.
Sadiq Khan, Labour’s London mayor, added, “This is what happens when fake news is amplified and given credibility by people who should know better.”
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