Downing Street’s head of policy has reportedly resigned after Boris Johnson failed to apologise for using a “scurrilous” Jimmy Savile slur against Sir Keir Starmer.
In a fresh blow to the Prime Minister, his long-term ally Munira Mirza was said to have quit in outrage at his “inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse”.
During an interview on Thursday, Johnson backtracked on the widely criticised and debunked claim that the Labour leader failed to prosecute Savile.
But, according to Mirza’s resignation letter reported by the Spectator magazine, he stopped short of issuing the apology that she had requested.
“I believe it was wrong for you to imply this week that Keir Starmer was personally responsible for allowing Jimmy Savile to escape justice,” the letter read.
“There was no fair or reasonable basis for that assertion. This was not the usual cut and thrust of politics; it was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse.
“You tried to clarify your position today but, despite my urging, you did not apologise for the misleading impression you gave.
“You are a better man than many of your detractors will ever understand which is why it is so desperately sad that you let yourself down by making a scurrilous accusation against the Leader of the Opposition.”