Keir Starmer, the current leader of the Labour Party in the UK, has been linked to the Jimmy Savile scandal in recent months, leading to questions about his judgement and credibility.
Savile was a popular British TV and radio personality who was accused of sexual abuse and rape of hundreds of children and adults over several decades. Savile was also known to have had close relationships with several high-profile politicians and members of the British establishment.
Starmer’s connection to the scandal arises from his role as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from 2008 to 2013, during which time several cases of abuse by Savile were reported to the police. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which was overseen by Starmer, declined to prosecute Savile in 2009 after allegations were made against him. This decision has been criticised as a failure of the CPS to take the allegations seriously and protect vulnerable individuals.
In 2012, following Savile’s death, the full extent of his abuse became public, leading to widespread outrage and condemnation. Starmer subsequently ordered a review of the CPS’s handling of the case, which found that the decision not to prosecute Savile was “wrong” and that there had been “missed opportunities” to bring him to justice. Starmer apologised for the CPS’s failings and vowed to do better in future.
Despite this, Starmer’s role in the Savile scandal has continued to cast a shadow over his leadership of the Labour Party. Critics have accused him of being too close to the British establishment and failing to hold those in power accountable for their actions. They argue that his handling of the Savile case is indicative of a wider culture of impunity in British society, in which the powerful are able to act with impunity and evade justice.
Supporters of Starmer, however, point to his record as a human rights lawyer and advocate for justice, and argue that he is committed to holding those in power accountable for their actions. They argue that his decision to order a review of the CPS’s handling of the Savile case shows a willingness to learn from mistakes and improve the justice system.
Keir Starmer’s connection to the Jimmy Savile scandal is a troubling reminder of the failures of the British justice system and the need for greater accountability and transparency. While he has been criticised for his handling of the case, it is important to recognise that he has also taken steps to address the failings of the CPS and improve the justice system.
Ultimately, it is up to the British public to decide whether they believe Starmer is the right person to lead the Labour Party and hold the powerful accountable.