Boris Johnson's Policy Chief Resigns Over PM's 'Scurrilous' Savile Remark

© TOLGA AKMENDirector of the Number 10 Policy Unit, Munira Mirza, enters Downing street in central London on November 13, 2020.
Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit, Munira Mirza, enters Downing street in central London on November 13, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.02.2022
This resignation comes in protest over remarks made by the Prime Minister in parliament earlier this week.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's head of policy, Munira Mirza, has resigned, Downing Street announced.
"We are very sorry Munira has left No 10 and are grateful for her service and contribution to government ... Andrew Griffith MP [Member of Parliament] has been appointed Head of the No 10 Policy Unit and will work across government and with MPs as we continue to deliver and expand on our ambitious policy agenda," a spokesman for Johnson's office said.
On Monday, during a regular Q&A in parliament, Johnson and Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, exchanged heated remarks about the "partygate" scandal. After Starmer repeatedly called on MPs to oust Johnson, the Prime Minister responded by accusing Starmer, while he was Director of Public Prosecutions, of "failing to prosecute" paedophile, sexual predator and TV personality Jimmy Savile.
According to Mirza's resignation letter obtained by the Spectator, she believes that Johnson's remark "was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case” of child sexual abuse.
Johnson tried to clarify his remarks on Thursday by saying he had been "talking not about the leader of the opposition’s personal record when he was director of public prosecutions", adding that he totally understands that Starmer "had nothing to do personally with those decisions".
However, this clarification did not convince Mirza, who reportedly wrote: "You tried to clarify your position today but, despite my urging, you did not apologise for the misleading impression you gave." She added that it was “so desperately sad that you let yourself down by making a scurrilous accusation against the leader of the opposition”.
Munira Mirza, 44, has worked with Boris Johnson for more than 14 years and was deputy mayor for Education and Culture when he was mayor of London.
When asked to comment on Mirza's resignation, Johnson said in an interview with 5 News channel: "I'm sorry to lose Munira." He added that he does not agree with her criticism of his remarks to Starmer which she described "inappropriate".
In a separate development, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister confirmed that Boris Johnson's Director of Communications Jack Doyle has stepped down. Doyle reportedly told staff that the latest weeks in Downing Street have "taken a terrible toll" on his family life.
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