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13th Mar 2019

Boris Johnson says money spent on child sexual abuse investigation is ‘spaffed up a wall’

James Dawson

A Labour minister said Johnson’s remarks were an insult to the victims of paedophilia

Boris Johnson has claimed that money spent on a police investigation into child sexual abuse allegation was being “spaffed up a wall”.

The former foreign secretary claimed in an interview with LBC on Wednesday morning that the money spent on the probe would have been better spent elsewhere.

Speaking on the radio station, Johnson said: “Keeping numbers high on the streets is certainly important. But it depends where you spend the money and where you deploy the officers.

“And one comment I would make is I think an awful lot of money and an awful lot of police time now goes into these historic offences and all this malarkey.

“You know, £60 million I saw was being spaffed up a wall on some investigation into historic child abuse.”

He added: “I mean, what on earth is that going to do to protect the public now?”

However, Louise Haigh, Labour’s crime and policing minister, said that Johnson’s remarks were an insult to the victims of paedophilia.

“Could you look the victims in the eye and tell them investigating and bringing to justice those who abused them, as children, is a waste of money?” she asked.

Adding: “You shameless, dangerous oaf.”

Johnson’s comments follow Cardinal George Pell being jailed for six years in Australia for abusing two 13-year-old choir boys in 1996. The sentencing means he is the most senior Catholic to be convicted of child abuse.

Elsewhere in the interview, the former foreign secretary was asked about his Conservative leadership ambitions in the wake of Theresa May’s Brexit again being defeated in the Commons last night. Johnson was one of a number of Tories to defy their leader and vote against the agreement.

Responding to the question of whether he would push to take the reigns of the party if the opportunity presented itself, Johnson replied: “This subject is closed. I’m fed up of it.”