Politics

Met Police investigating death threats against Starmer following PM’s Savile ‘slur’

The Metropolitan Police is investigating death threats against Sir Keir Starmer following Boris Johnson’s use of the discredited claim that the Labour leader failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile when he was director of public prosecutions.

The force confirmed that on Friday it received a third party report relating to allegations of malicious communications made against a serving member of parliament.

The force said an investigation is ongoing and its inquiries continue.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer
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MPs on all sides have condemned the remarks made about Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Threats passed to Met Police

A log of evidence documenting threats against the Labour leader was sent to Scotland Yard on Friday and includes a post on the messaging app Telegram calling for Sir Keir to be “lynched”.

The material was sent to the Met by The Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), which aims to disrupt online abuse.

A Labour source said: “Of course extremists of all stripes don’t like Keir – he spent years helping to put them and their ilk in prison and keep Britain’s streets safe from them.”

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Last week, Sir Keir was bundled into the back of a police car after being confronted by protesters shouting “traitor” and “Jimmy Savile” at him.

The incident brought fresh condemnation of the prime minister, who had made a discredited claim that Sir Keir personally failed to prosecute Savile, a prolific sex offender.

In video footage posted on social media, the Labour leader was seen walking near to parliament surrounded by police officers while being mobbed by a group, some of whom were protesting against COVID measures.

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Moment Labour leader bundled into police car

Starmer bundled into a police car for safety

At one point in the footage, a member of the group surrounding Sir Keir, was overheard making a baseless claim, by shouting: “Why did you let Jimmy Savile off?”

While one of the group, supporters of what they called a “freedom convoy” and “freedom movement”, was heard accusing the Labour leader of “protecting paedophiles”.

The incident with Sir Keir brought fresh condemnation of the prime minister, with some MPs from his own party joining the calls for Mr Johnson to issue an apology for his remarks.

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PM’s ‘Jimmy Savile’ comment to Starmer

MPs condemn PM’s Savile ‘slur’

Senior Conservative backbencher Sir Roger Gale, who has submitted a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson, expressed his fear that the “grim scenes” were “the direct result of the deliberately careless use of language” in the Commons chamber.

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, who was with Sir Keir at the time of the mob incident, said it was “no surprise the conspiracy theorist thugs who harassed” himself and the Labour leader had repeated Mr Johnson’s “slurs”.

“Intimidation, harassment and lies have no place in our democracy. And they won’t ever stop me doing my job,” he added.

Mr Johnson himself tweeted: “The behaviour directed at the leader of the opposition tonight is absolutely disgraceful. All forms of harassment of our elected representatives are completely unacceptable.”

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PM words on Savile ‘inappropriate’

PM not expected to apologise over remarks

The prime minister saw his policy chief, Munira Mirza, quit over his use of the Savile claim about Sir Keir.

The victims of Savile have also demanded the prime minister withdraw his comments.

Mr Johnson has sought to “clarify” his remarks.

Earlier this week, Downing Street said the PM will not apologise for using the discredited claim.

The prime minister’s official spokesperson acknowledged that Mr Johnson’s words in the House of Commons last week were “capable of being misconstrued”, but said the prime minister had subsequently issued a “clarification”.

The spokesman’s comments came soon after Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle warned MPs that “words have consequences” after Sir Keir was confronted by the mob.

Sir Lindsay said he had requested a “situation report from the Metropolitan Police” on the incident.

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