PM has nothing to apologise for over Jimmy Savile claim, Gove insists
Independent

Michael Gove has attracted anger after saying that Boris Johnson need not apologise for comments he made about Keir Starmer and Jimmy Savile in the commons earlier this week.

The prime minister had claimed that the leader of the opposition failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile while director of public prosecutions, despite fact-checking charity Full Fact finding this to be false in 2020.

But asked this morning whether the prime minister had anything to apologise for, Gove said: "No".

He added: "I think this is a uniquely sensitive issue and it does need to be handled with care, and I listen with enormous respect to those who act for victims of the actions of a terrible, terrible criminal.

"But – and it's not a subject that I want to dwell on because it is uniquely sensitive – it is the case that the CPS apologised for the handling of this case and what happened in 2009, and I think we should acknowledge that an apology was given at the time and respect that."

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Gove added: "Keir Starmer acknowledged that mistakes had been made by the organisation of which he was head, to his credit. He was very clear about those mistakes."

However Johnson’s claim was branded “a disgrace to parliament and office of prime minister” by Nazir Afzal, a former chief Crown prosecutor for the North West on Monday.

“It’s not true. I was there. Keir Starmer had nothing to do with the decisions taken. On the contrary, He supported me in bringing hundreds of child sex abusers to justice,” Afzal said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Starmer himself rejected the claims yesterday in an interview with Burley and called the comments "a slur" but Johnson refused to apologise.

Reacting to Gove's comments, people thought he was out of order:

Oh dear.

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