21.2 C
Los Angeles
Sunday, September 17, 2023

Emily Thornberry caught attacking Keir Starmer’s rape record at CPS in unearthed BBC clip

NewsEmily Thornberry caught attacking Keir Starmer’s rape record at CPS in unearthed BBC clip

Labour’s controversial attack adverts accusing Rishi Sunak of failing to lock up sex offenders hit another obstacle today, as footage emerged of Shadow Cabinet member Emily Thornberry attacking her current boss, Keir Starmer, for failing rape victims. The clip is from a 2012 broadcast of BBC’s Question Time.

Emily Thornberry – who was then serving in the same role of Shadow Attorney General under Ed Miliband – is seen saying: “I’m really disappointed, I’m really disappointed in the Crown Prosecution Services for letting down these victims.

“When evidence comes forward, I’m really shocked that they did not go ahead with prosecuting.

“It’s for that reason that I wrote in my capacity as shadow AG to HM inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service the day after this stuff came out, and asked for an independent inspection.”

Ms Thornberry was referring to a letter she wrote to Sir Keir the month prior, demanding an “urgent rethink” of the CPS’s decision to “weaken guidelines that specialist barristers must deal with every stage of a rape prosecution”.

The embarrassing attack, which first resurfaced in 2021 and again following Labour’s attack on the Tories’ record on crime, saw Ms Thornberry slam Sir Keir and the CPS for “backsliding” and failing to give rape victims legal support.

In addition to this criticism, the Question Time clip now also shows Ms Thornberry attacking the CPS for investigating itself.

She said: “It’s being investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service, it’s a bit like the BBC doing an investigation of itself, or the health service doing an investigation of itself, or Broadmoor doing an investigation of itself.

“I actually think that Harriet Harman is right, that we need to have a larger investigation.”

In 2012 the CPS launched an investigation into its own handling of cases referred to it Jimmy Saville in 2009.

Sir Keir was head of the CPS from 2008 to 2013, with Labour at the time saying: “It is deeply disappointing that the CPS was presented with evidence of a clear pattern of sexual assaults by Savile and decided not to act.”

READ MORE: When they go low, we go high – Sunak should ignore Keir’s attacks

During the Labour leadership election, Sir Keir told an audience that as DPP at the CPS: “When [staff] made mistakes, I carried the can.”

However when Boris Johnson accused Sir Keir of failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile last year, he accused the then-Prime Minister of making a “ridiculous slur”.

This latest awkward footage comes after Labour doubled down on their controversial Conservative attack adverts.

Eight days ago Labour posted a graphic on social media reading “Do you think adults convicted of sexually assaulting children should go to prison? Rishi Sunak doesn’t.”

It claimed that “Under the Tories, 4,500 adults convicted of sexually assaulting children under 16 served no prison time”.

However the 4,500 figure includes 2010-2015, during which time Rishi Sunak wasn’t an MP.

The attack further backfired after it emerged that Sir Keir sat on the Sentencing Council – the body that sets rules for sentencing criminals – at the time.

Yesterday an Opinum poll for the Observer showed the attack advert went down badly with the public.

While it made 17 percent feel more negatively toward the Tories, it also made 12 percent feel more negatively toward Labour.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles