22.7 C
Los Angeles
Friday, September 22, 2023

Emily Thornberry warned public 'safety and security' was threatened under Keir Starmer

NewsEmily Thornberry warned public 'safety and security' was threatened under Keir Starmer

Emily Thornberry warned the “safety and security” of the public was at risk under Sir Keir Starmer’s tenure as the country’s top prosecutor.

The shadow attorney general lashed out at the Crown Prosecution Service’s woeful record in London at the time the Labour leader was its head.

Conviction rates showed nearly one in four suspects charged with burglary walked free from court.

Ms Thornberry said at the time the “safety and security” of the capital was at stake with CPS in London “bumping along the bottom” when it came to prosecutions.

Sir Keir Starmer said on Sunday: “I take full responsibility for every decision of the Crown Prosecution Service when I was director of public prosecutions.”

READ MORE: Labour’s new plot to oust Tories

The Labour leader said he had taken the “credit” when the CPS had been successful but “carried the can” when things had gone wrong.

Sir Keir made the declaration on Sky News as he defended Labour’s strategy of highly personal advertisements attacking Rishi Sunak.

Ms Thornberry, a London MP, made the comments in 2013 when the capital had the lowest conviction rates in the country for offences against the person at 66 percent.

The CPS in London also had the lowest conviction rates in the country for rape and domestic violence, with almost half of rape suspects walking free from court.

A Tory source said: “These are serious allegations from one of Starmer’s own frontbenchers.

“This is yet another case where Sir Keir’s claims about his time at the CPS don’t live up to reality.

“Starmer needs to come clean on his record as DPP.”

Ms Thornberry, who held the same role at the time she spoke out as she does now, made a number of critical comments about the CPS during Sir Keir’s leadership.

In 2012, she told Question Time, the CPS had let down Jimmy Savile’s victims by failing to prosecute the prolific sex offender.

She said: “I’m really disappointed in the Crown Prosecution Service for letting down these victims. When evidence comes forward, I’m really shocked that they did not go ahead with the prosecution.

“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.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week branded his opponent “Sir Softy” for his record on crime during a Commons clash.

Sir Keir has faced criticism for his role campaigning as an MP to stop the removal of dangerous foreign criminals, including rapists, murderers, and violent sexual offenders.

Tory Jonathan Gullis said: “Sir Keir made it clear that he ‘carries the can’ for mistakes made as DPP.

“So let’s see action live up to words, for once. Sir Keir should acknowledge his abysmal and dismal record and apologise for it. Particularly to the victims, he failed.”

Conservative MP David Jones said: “Keir Starmer also signed a letter, along with other Labour MPs, opposing the deportation of a convicted rapist and other criminals back to Jamaica.

“Starmer and Labour are thoroughly weak on crime, and he has an astonishing brass neck to try to pretend otherwise.”

A spokesman for Ms Thornberry said: “The CPS was having to deal at the time with 25 percent budget cuts imposed by the Tory government in 2010, and a massive reduction in prosecutor numbers, all having a disproportionate impact on areas with the highest workloads like London.

“The damage done to our criminal justice system by those cuts is still being felt today, and only a Labour government under Keir Starmer’s leadership will start to fix that system.”

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles