Boris Johnson news – live: Calls for PM to apologise after mob shouting Savile slurs accost Starmer

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LIVE – Updated at 03:23

Furious MPs tonight demanded that Boris Johnson apologise to Keir Starmer after a mob accosted the Labour leader and repeated Jimmy Savile smears made by the PM last week at the despatch box.

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Senior Tory Sir Roger Gale called for Mr Johnson to make a Commons apology on Tuesday and Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative MP who chairs the Commons Defence Committee, said a drift towards a “Trumpian style of politics” must end.

Earlier on Monday evening Metropolitan Police officers stepped in to protect the Labour leader as the group followed him and shadow foreign secretary David Lammy near parliament.

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A police spokesperson said two people were arrested at the scene for assault of an emergency worker, after a traffic cone was thrown at an officer.

Last Monday, Mr Johnson falsely accused Sir Keir of failing to prosecute Savile while he was director of public prosecutions, prompting his former policy director Munira Mirza to resign.

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Responding to the attack this evening, Mr Johnson said the abuse hurled at his political opponent was “absolutely disgraceful”.

Key Points

  • Starmer bundled into police car after protesters shout abuse and Savile slurs
  • MPs call on PM to apologise to Starmer for Jimmy Savile smear
  • ‘No surprise they repeated the PM’s words’: Lammy and others react to Starmer mob
  • PM dismisses claims leadership favourite Sunak is ‘disloyal’
  • Labour demands answers over Johnson’s new spin chief’s lobbying for Huawei

French far-right leader Eric Zemmour says Boris Johnson is his role model

03:12 , Joe Middleton

French far-right presidential hopeful Eric Zemmour has nominated Boris Johnson as the world leader he feels he has the most in common with.

Mr Zemmour said he was “without doubt” closest to the UK prime minister “culturally, intellectually”.

Like Mr Johnson Mr Zemmour is a former journalist who has ridden a tidal wave of populist support – emerging as a challenger to Emmanuel Macron in this year’s election.

France will go to the polls in April to elect its next president, with centrist Mr Macron facing three challengers from the far-right to right wing of French politics.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone reports.

Boris Johnson news – live: Calls for PM to apologise after mob shouting Savile slurs accost Starmer
© Provided by The Independent

French far-right leader Eric Zemmour says Boris Johnson is his role model

Boris Johnson believes changes within Downing Street will save him – but is he right?

02:12 , Joe Middleton

Advisers can come and go, says Rob Merrick, but does it matter if a political leader will not take their advice?

Boris Johnson news – live: Calls for PM to apologise after mob shouting Savile slurs accost Starmer
© Provided by The Independent

Johnson believes changes within No 10 will save him – but is he right? | Rob Merrick

01:12 , Joe Middleton

Scottish Labour leader says PM should be ‘ashamed of himself’

00:10 , Joe Middleton

The leader of Scottish Labour has said “Boris Johnson should be absolutely ashamed of himself” after Sir Keir Starmer was forced to take refuge after a mob confronted him near Parliament.

Sir Keir faced baseless allegations of “protecting paedophiles” and chants about Jimmy Savile from protesters before being bundled into a police car for protection.

Anas Sarwar told BBC Scotland’s The Nine programme: “We have a deliberate attempt from politicians in power to increase hate, to increase division, in order to distract from their failures.

“So Boris Johnson should absolutely be ashamed of himself.

“He knew exactly what he was doing by throwing that dead cat strategy around the Jimmy Savile trial.

“(There’s) no remorse at all, no thinking about the impact on the families impacted by that directly. It was deliberately targeted to create anger, to cerate a distraction, and to protect his own job.

“The best thing we can do for this country is to get that charlatan out of Downing Street, get that liar, that corrupt individual out of Downing Street, and get honesty and truth back into our politics.”

PM’s new spin doctor lobbied former chief of staff not to ban Huawei in the UK

Monday 7 February 2022 23:12 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson’s new spin doctor lobbied a former chief of staff in No 10 not to ban Huawei in the UK, leaked documents suggest.

Guto Harri, hired by the prime minister as part of his shake-up in Downing Street, asked Sir Eddie Lister which ministers could receive a “nudge” for his client in 2020, The Sun reported.

The communications chief was said to have been representing lobbying firm Hawthorn Advisors during the 25-minute video call including Huawei executives on June 2 that year.

After The Sun reported the leaked minutes, a No 10 spokeswoman said: “In full compliance with appropriate guidance, government officials met with a number of interested parties, including Huawei, following the change in US policy.

“After a technical review by the National Cyber Security Centre in response to the US sanctions, the Government then banned the purchase of any new 5G Huawei equipment and is in the process of removing all Huawei equipment from 5G networks.

“The Prime Minister always acts in the best interests of the UK when dealing with China which allows us to manage disagreements, defend our values and preserve space to tackle challenges including on security.”

Monday 7 February 2022 22:55 , Joe Middleton

Nicola Sturgeon: If Boris Johnson has any decency at all he will say sorry

Monday 7 February 2022 22:38 , Joe Middleton

Nicola Sturgeon tonight said if Boris Johnson “has any decency at all” he would say sorry for “choosing to weaponise online conspiracy theories against opponents”.

The prime minister has come under fresh pressure over the Jimmy Savile smear he aimed at Sir Keir Starmer after the Labour leader had to be rescued by police from a mob near Parliament.

The First Minister tweeted on Monday: “Any politician choosing to weaponise online conspiracy theories against opponents knows fine well that they risk stirring up the kind of hate and abuse that Keir Starmer experienced today.

“If he has any decency at all, the PM will now apologise unreservedly.”

Any politician choosing to weaponise online conspiracy theories against opponents knows fine well that they risk stirring up the kind of hate and abuse that Keir Starmer experienced today. If he has any decency at all, the PM will now apologise unreservedly. https://t.co/PkctiSZL1L

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) February 7, 2022

Families using foodbanks speak out over Kirstie Allsopp comments

Monday 7 February 2022 22:21 , Joe Middleton

Families who have relied on foodbanks despite being in work have spoken out Kirstie Allsopp‘s “unsympathetic” comments on house buying.

The Location, Location, Location presenter said many young people could afford to buy a home if they made more sacrifices.

The response to her remarks on social media and in the press has been highly critical.

Struggling families have responded with bewilderment.

Liam James reports.

Boris Johnson news – live: Calls for PM to apologise after mob shouting Savile slurs accost Starmer
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Struggling families using foodbanks speak out against ‘unsympathetic’ Kirstie Allsopp

MPs call on PM to apologise to Starmer for Jimmy Savile smear

Monday 7 February 2022 21:56 , Joe Middleton

MPs have tonight called on Boris Johnson to retract and apologise for his Jimmy Savile smear directed at Keir Starmer after the Labour leader was surrounded by a mob on Monday evening.

Senior Tory Sir Roger Gale demanded that Mr Johnson makes a Commons apology on Tuesday over the abuse which he feared could be the result of Mr Johnson’s “deliberately careless” Savile allegation.

“It has, I’m afraid, played into the hands of some rather unpleasant people,” the MP, first elected in 1983, told PA.

“I think what he ought to do … is to go to the despatch box tomorrow to condemn the way Keir was treated and apologise.”

Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative MP who chairs the Commons Defence Committee, told the prime minister “apologise please”.

“Let’s stop this drift towards a Trumpian style of politics from becoming the norm,” he added.

Chris Bryant, the Labour MP who chairs the Commons Committee on Standards, said: “This is what happens when a Prime Minister descends into the gutter and recycles lies from hard-right conspiracy theorists. Political poison has an effect. Johnson has no moral compass.”

And Conservative MP Julian Smith said: “What happened to Keir Starmer tonight outside parliament is appalling. It is really important for our democracy & for his security that the false Savile slurs made against him are withdrawn in full.”

PM – Apologise please.

We claim to be the Mother of all Parliaments.

Let’s stop this drift towards a Trumpian style of politics from becoming the norm.

We are better than this. https://t.co/Fn3O87DJQ0

— Tobias Ellwood MP (@Tobias_Ellwood) February 7, 2022

What happened to Keir Starmer tonight outside parliament is appalling. It is really important for our democracy & for his security that the false Savile slurs made against him are withdrawn in full.

— Julian Smith MP (@JulianSmithUK) February 7, 2022

This is appalling. People were shouting all sorts at Keir, including “Jimmy Savile”.

This is what happens when a prime minister descends into the gutter and recycles lies from hard-right conspiracy theorists. Political poison has an effect. Johnson has no moral compass. https://t.co/pC2msvYsZW

— Chris Bryant (@RhonddaBryant) February 7, 2022

Patients will lose out as ministers toy with targets the NHS can’t meet

Monday 7 February 2022 21:39 , Joe Middleton

The NHS is unlikely to be able to meet any new waiting time targets, as Rebecca Thomas explains.

Boris Johnson news – live: Calls for PM to apologise after mob shouting Savile slurs accost Starmer
© Provided by The Independent

NHS will cannot hit tougher targets while delays will hit patients

SDLP leader questions whereabouts of Boris Johnson

Monday 7 February 2022 21:23 , Joe Middleton

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood questioned the whereabouts of the Boris Johnson in recent days and said the DUP had “held a gun to their own head” over the NI protocol.

He told MPs: “I hear a lot in this House of the precious union and how this is all about the union – where is the Prime Minister or even his Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when a key part of that supposedly precious union and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, and the executive of that administration, has collapsed?

“Nowhere to be seen is the Prime Minister of this precious United Kingdom, and I think if I was a unionist in Northern Ireland today – and I can assure you I’m not – I’d be looking very closely at what this Government and how this Government treats them.”

Mr Eastwood later said for months the DUP has “held a gun to their own head” over the protocol and Brexit matters, adding: “Now they’ve shot and what they have got?

“This will never precipitate the result that they want because it’s impossible to do what the DUP wants and this is the reality, this is not about the protocol, this is about an election that will come in the next few months and all this is about is shoring up the unionist support.”

Watch: Government setting ‘tough targets’ to deal with backlog, says PM

Monday 7 February 2022 21:08 , Sam Hancock

Priti Patel ‘in contact with police’ over Starmer mob incident

Monday 7 February 2022 20:53 , Sam Hancock

All Members of Parliament must be able to go about their lives without fear of threats or intimidation.

The scenes outside Parliament of people accosting @Keir_Starmer & @DavidLammy were completely unacceptable.

I am in contact with the police about the incident.

— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) February 7, 2022

Government accused of ‘neglecting’ Northern Ireland

Monday 7 February 2022 20:47 , Sam Hancock

In other news this evening, the government has been accused of “negligence” in allowing the Northern Ireland Bill to be delayed on its way through parliament.

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Peter Kyle said: “The amendments before us today were drafted to deal with a hypothetical power vacuum which has become a reality due to the government’s lack of focus on the political deterioration in Northern Ireland.”

The Labour MP said the changes would remove the requirement for Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, to set a date for an election if the positions of first and deputy first minister are not filled by the end of this week.

“That these amendments were accepted by the government in the Lords is an admission that the delayed passage of this Bill was negligent,” he added. “The instability caused by the first minister resigning is unsettling for all of us who cherish the Good Friday Agreement.”

Javid’s suggestion people ‘draw a line under’ PM’s Savile smear criticised

Monday 7 February 2022 20:32 , Sam Hancock

Referring to remarks made by health secretary Sajid Javid this morning, Sky’s Beth Rigby says there is “no drawing a line under” the false claims made by Boris Johnson in the Commons about Keir Starmer’s failure to prosecute Jimmy Savile.

No drawing a line under this after @Keir_Starmer and @DavidLammy were mobbed today outside parliament by protesters shouting abuse and Jimmy Saville slurs. Deeply disturbing footage https://t.co/LJBc6w9oM0

— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) February 7, 2022

PM condemns ‘disgraceful behaviour directed at’ Starmer

Monday 7 February 2022 20:04 , Sam Hancock

Boris Johnson has spoken out after Sir Keir Starmer was escorted to safety this evening.

“All forms of harassment of our elected representatives are completely unacceptable,” the PM said.

The behaviour directed at the Leader of the Opposition tonight is absolutely disgraceful. All forms of harassment of our elected representatives are completely unacceptable.

I thank the police for responding swiftly.

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 7, 2022

Watch: Starmer rescued by police after angry mob shouts Savile slurs

Monday 7 February 2022 19:45 , Sam Hancock

‘No surprise they repeated the PM’: Lammy and others react to Starmer mob

Monday 7 February 2022 19:41 , Sam Hancock

Here are some initial reactions to the incident involving far-right protestors and Sir Keir Starmer this evening.

David Lammy, shadow foreign secretary, who was with Sir Keir at the time the mobsters descended, said it was “no surprise” they repeated Boris Johnson’s slurs.

No surprise the conspiracy theorist thugs who harassed @Keir_Starmer & I repeated slurs we heard from @BorisJohnson last week at the despatch box.

Intimidation, harassment and lies have no place in our democracy. And they won’t ever stop me doing my job. pic.twitter.com/Io4JBJoHfQ

— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) February 7, 2022

Deputy Commons speaker Dame Eleanor Laing said the incident was “unacceptable. Period”.

Tonight, the Leader of the Opposition, Sir @Keir_Starmer, and the Shadow Foreign Secretary, @DavidLammy, were mobbed outside @UKParliament. This is unacceptable. Period. Elected representatives must be able to go about their work without the fear of verbal or physical attacks.

— Dame Eleanor Laing MP (@eleanor4epping) February 7, 2022

Guardian columnist and vocal antifascist commentator Owen Jones said the attack was the latest example of Mr Johnson’s government “whipping up the far right”.

Boris Johnson and his cabal have systematically legitimised and whipped up the English far right, and this is just the latest grim consequence.pic.twitter.com/OQn3ogwuze

— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) February 7, 2022

Meanwhile, former Tory chief whip Julian Smith, who condemned the PM for making the comments he did last week, said “the false Savile slurs made against him’ must by withdrawn.

What happened to Keir Starmer tonight outside parliament is appalling. It is really important for our democracy & for his security that the false Savile slurs made against him are withdrawn in full.

— Julian Smith MP (@JulianSmithUK) February 7, 2022

Keir Starmer bundled into police car after being swarmed by protesters shouting abuse and Savile slurs

Monday 7 February 2022 19:03 , Joe Middleton

Sir Keir Starmer has been rescued by police officers after he was surrounded by a mob shouting abuse, including Jimmy Savile smears, at him outside Parliament.

Footage of the incident showed the Labour leader being bundled into a police vehicle after protestors were heard saying “traitor”, “Jimmy Savile” and accusing him of “protecting peadophiles”.

Officers were forced to step in the protect Sir Keir, who was walking alongside the shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, as the group of protestors followed him from outside Scotland Yard to one of Parliament’s entrances.

It comes just a week after Boris Johnson faced fury from parliamentarians, including his own MPs, after he falsely accused Sir Keir of failing to prosecute Savile while Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the details.

Boris Johnson news – live: Calls for PM to apologise after mob shouting Savile slurs accost Starmer
© Provided by The Independent

Keir Starmer swarmed by protesters shouting abuse and Jimmy Savile slurs

ICYMI: Peers move to stop money laundering at post-Brexit freeports

Monday 7 February 2022 19:00 , Sam Hancock

A bit of a Brexit update now. Boris Johnson’s government has been urged to crackdown on a loophole which could allow post-Brexit freeports being used to launder dirty money.

Peers are moving to stop illicit finance from Russia and elsewhere amid eight English ports being granted tax breaks by the government in a bid to generate more trade after the UK’s exit from the EU.

The Liberal Democrats are attempting to amend the government’s tax bill to stop freeports extending the “London laundromat” across the country, writes Adam Forrest.

Boris Johnson news – live: Calls for PM to apologise after mob shouting Savile slurs accost Starmer
© Provided by The Independent

Peers move to stop ‘dirty money’ being laundered through freeports

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