Javid distances himself from Johnson’s Starmer ‘slur’ over Jimmy Savile

Javid distances himself from Johnson’s Starmer ‘slur’ over Jimmy Savile
The Health Secretary said the Labour leader deserved ‘absolute respect’ for his work as director of public prosecutions.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has become the second senior minister to distance himself from Boris Johnson’s controversial attack on Sir Keir Starmer.

Mr Javid said the Labour leader had done a “good job” when he was director of public prosecutions and deserved “absolute respect” for his work in the post.

His comments came after Mr Johnson’s long-standing policy chief Munira Mirza dramatically quit on Thursday citing his refusal to withdraw his claim that Sir Keir had failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile for child sex offences.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also distanced himself from the Prime Minister’s attacks, saying he would not have made the comments.

Mr Javid told reporters: “Keir Starmer, when he was running the DPP, did a good job and he should be respected for it, it is a tough job and he deserved absolute respect for that,” he told Sky News.

“But the Prime Minister has also come out and clarified those remarks, and that is important.”

Asked if the Prime Minister still had his support, Mr Javid said: “Of course he does. Absolutely.”

Ms Mirza’s departure came on a dramatic day in which three other senior aides announced they were leaving in the wake of Sue Gray’s interim report on lockdown parties in Downing Street.

But it appeared that the resignations were not over on Friday, with the Conservative Home website reporting that Elena Narozanski has become the second adviser to quit the No 10 policy unit.