Johnson's Jimmy Savile comments were 'perfectly reasonable', says Minister
'At some level, bear some responsibility'
Another Tory Minister has sprung to Boris Johnson' aid, branding the PM's Jimmy Savile slur aimed at Keir Starmer as "perfectly reasonable."
Appearing on Trevor Phillips on February 6, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng threw his support behind the PM, who last week has slammed for accusing the opposition leader of essentially letting Jimmy Savile go.
.@KwasiKwarteng tells @TrevorPTweets the PM was right to clarify his position regarding his Jimmy Savile comments directed at Labour leader, and says the language was "perfectly reasonable" in context.#Phillips: https://t.co/spLGEzIQVU
📺 Sky 501, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/KBF8XBzi4D
— Sophy Ridge on Sunday & The Take (@RidgeOnSunday) February 6, 2022
Starmer accused Johnson of using the "conspiracy theories of violent fascists" to score political points, having dubbed it as a "ridiculous slur peddled by right-wing trolls" during a separate interview with Sky News earlier this week.
When prompted on the slur, Kwarteng said: "In that context I think it was perfectly reasonable to mention the fact that Sir Keir had apologised.
"Sir Keir himself apologised on behalf of the organisation he led about the fact that they failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile."
He added that due to Starmer's apology, he "at some level, bear some responsibility."
— John Nevill (@cortina) February 6, 2022
Kwarteng was pressed further, to which he replied: "No, what I'm trying to say is that it's about leadership, it's about accountability.
"Sir Keir apologised and so that's something that was absolutely in scope. I'm not saying that he had personal blame, he didn't.
"We've been very clear about that and the prime minister clarified that position as well.
— Neelie (@DrNeelie) February 6, 2022
"But I think in the cut and thrust of debate, when people are talking about leadership and accountability, bringing up something that Sir Keir himself apologised for seems reasonable."
Kwarteng also noted that Johnson's removal is "inevitable."
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