Richard Madeley asks if Angela Rayner is Keir Starmer’s ‘best girl’
Independent

Richard Madeley is facing criticism once again for downplaying the impact of Boris Johnson's Jimmy Savile remarks.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the part-time presenter and full-time Alan Partridge impersonator sparked outrage after he suggested Keir Starmer reportedly receiving death threats over the false accusation were not a "big deal".

He said: "Shall we quickly touch on Keir Starmer, because the row over what Boris said in the Commons about Jimmy Savile rumbles on, now we learn yesterday that Keir Starmer says he’s getting death threats online. People calling for his execution."

Andrew Pierce, the consultant editor of the Daily Mail who was on the programme as a guest, replied: "Well I think politicians get that all the time."

"Well I was going to say, actually, is that that big a deal?" Madeley replied.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

If the issue has passed you by - here's a quick recap. Johnson accused Starmer of failing to prosecute Savile when he was director of the Crown Prosecution Service in a bizarre rant in the house of commons while discussing the partial publication of the Sue Gray report into Partygate.

Since then, fact-checkers have confirmed Johnson's argument was not true, one of his top advisors Munira Mirza has resigned over it, Johnson was forced to backtrack telling reporters "I totally understand that he had nothing to do personally with those decisions" but refused to apologise, and Starmer had to be bundled into a car last week after a mob, yelling "paadophile protector" at him accosted him outside parliament.

Phew. But that's not all...

Starmer confirmed to the BBC yesterday that he has received death threats over the remarks and said Johnson "fed into" a "conspiracy" about the issue. It has also been announced that Scotland Yard will be investigating the threats and looking over messages directed at the Labour leader from people online calling for him to be executed, as well as other documents.

Last year, David Amess was killed in his constituency office just a few years after the murder of Jo Cox and a number of MPs have spoken out about the number of abusive messages they receive.

So people thought it was a pretty big deal that Starmer was receiving threats:

It is not the first time Madeley's take on the story has raised eyebrows. Last week, while interviewing Labour's Rosena Allin-Khan, Madeley questioned if Johnson's remarks contributed to Starmer being accosted by the group of protestors outside parliament.

"Isn't it a bit much to accuse the prime minister of inciting these scenes that we've seen being replayed from last night?" he asked.

"I mean, yes they did shout 'Jimmy Savile' and they used the paedophile word and all of that, but they were making lots of other remarks as well with what Boris Johnson said in the Commons.

"So those scenes could have been exactly the same, minus references to Jimmy Savile."

Safe to say, Allin-Khan didn't exactly agree and people on social media also told Madeley to give it a rest.

But given today's conversation, it seems he didn't get the memo.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)