Boris Johnson attacks Keir Starmer for 'failing to prosecute' Jimmy Savile
Boris Johnson had a bit of a mad one, yesterday.
While apologising in a statement to the house of commons after an update on the Sue Gray report was published,he managed to say a number of truly bizarre things that more than overshadowed his mild apology and make him look rather silly.
From accusing the opposition of taking drugs (really), to parroting a conspiracy about Jimmy Savile (really), here's how Johnson chose to use his time in parliament yesterday.
Cue the usual buzzwords: "vaccines, Brexit, economy"...
Who could have possibly predicted that the prime minister would bring up Jimmy Savile while apologising for Partygate?
No-one, probably, but that is exactly who Johnson brought up as he suggested that Keir Starmer failed to prosecute Savile.
He said that “the report does absolutely nothing to substantiate the tissue of nonsense that he has said.
"Instead this leader of the opposition, a former director of public prosecution – who used his time prosecuting journalists and failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile, as far as I can see – he chose to use this moment to continually pre-judge a police inquiry.
This claim has been described as "not true" by a former chief prosecutor and is also contrary to the findings of an independent fact-checking organisation.
Johnson was \u201cstrongly advised\u201d not to use the Jimmy Saville quip by some advisors inside No10. \u201cHe doesn\u2019t listen to advice,\u201d one insider says.
The smear made against Keir Starmer relating to Jimmy Saville yesterday is wrong & cannot be defended. It should be withdrawn. False and baseless personal slurs are dangerous, corrode trust & can't just be accepted as part of the cut & thrust of parliamentary debate.
Reference to Jimmy Savile by Boris Johnson was a disgrace to Parliament & office of Prime Minister\n\nITS NOT TRUE\nI was there\n\nKeir Starmer had nothing to do with the decisions taken\nOn the contrary, He supported me in bringing 100s of child sex abusers to justice \n#SueGrayReport
"A ridiculous slur peddled by right wing trolls" \n\nA furious @Keir_Starmer slams the Prime Minister for referencing Jimmy Saville and sinking parliament "into the gutter" \n\n#KayBurley FMpic.twitter.com/SXuOCTO8sp
Luke Pollard, Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, asked Johnson if there was a culture of "excessive drug-taking" after Gray's partial report found that "the excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a workplace at any time”.
Bizarrely, Johnson replied: "Any drug-taking would be excessive perhaps he should direct that question to the Labour frontbench."
The exchange didn't go unnoticed on social media:
Utterly bizarre moment as the prime minister is asked about a culture of drug taking in Downing Street. Johnson replies: "Perhaps he should direct that question at the Labour front bench".