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08th Feb 2022

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle links attack on Keir Starmer to Prime Minister

‘Our words have consequences’

Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle has linked an attack on Sir Keir Starmer, to a slur made by Boris Johnson last week concerning the investigation into Jimmy Saville.

In a statement, Sir Lindsay deplored the “disgraceful behaviour” directed toward the Labour leader on Monday evening. He described it as “intimidating and threatening” and called on fellow MPs to “stand with our colleagues in condemning the behaviour”.

The Speaker said that while the prime minister‘s words were not disorderly, they were inappropriate.

“Words have consequences,” he said.

On Monday evening, the Labour leader and the shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy had to be rescued from angry demonstrators by police, after swarms of protestors surrounded him near the Houses of Parliament.

Protestors could be heard chanting “Jimmy Saville” and “traitor” at Sir Keir, in reference to a slur made by Johnson in the Commons last week.

Many Tory MPs have called on the Prime Minister to retract the accusation, made during a heated debate following the release of the (limited) Sue Gray report.

Johnson accused Starmer of failing to prosecute disgraced sex offender Jimmy Savile during his tenure as head of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Johnson’s own MPs have described it as a “smear” that “cannot be defended” and should be withdrawn.

Sir Lindsay said: “While the PM’s words were not disorderly, they were inappropriate… These sorts of comments only inflame opinions and generate disregard for the house, and it is not acceptable.

“Our words have consequences”.

It’s understood the Speaker has requested a report from the Metropolitan police into safety of Members of Parliament leaving the estate.

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