Number 10’s policy chief has resigned over Boris Johnson’s repeated accusations that Sir Keir Starmer chose not to prosecute Jimmy Savile when he was the director of public prosecutions.
Munira Mirza yesterday in a letter to the PM said there was “no fair or reasonable basis for that assertion” and that she could no longer serve under him.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak also refused to give an endorsement of Johnson’s comments about Starmer at a press conference, saying that “to be honest I wouldn’t have said that”.
Mirza has been a long-time ally of Johnson and worked with him in City Hall when he was mayor of London.
The Prime Minister named her in 2020 when asked to name the five women who most inspired him.
It comes as four Tory MPs over the past two days have called for the Prime Minister to resign, with more expected.
Mirza’s resignation letter, revealed by The Spectator, read: “I believe it was wrong for you to imply this week that Keir Starmer was personally responsible for allowing Jimmy Savile to escape justice. There was no fair or reasonable basis for that assertion.
“This was not the usual cut and thrust of politics – it was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse. You tried to clarify your position today but, despite my urging, you did not apologise for the misleading impression you gave.
“You are a better man than many of your detractors will ever understand which is why it is so desperately sad that you let yourself down by making a scurrilous accusation against the Leader of the Opposition.”
Johnson first made the Savile claim on Monday and doubled-down on it yesterday in Prime Minister’s Questions.
Starmer was the director of public prosecutions in 2009 when it was decided not to arrest and charge one of the UK’s most prolific paedophiles, however he was not personally working on the case.
In 2013, he issued an apology for the Crown Prosecution Service’s failures regarding Savile.
Starmer said Johnson’s accusation was a “smear” and that the Prime Minister was “parroting the conspiracy theories of violent fascists to try and score cheap political points”.
He knows exactly what he is doing. It is time to restore some dignity,” he said.