Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said police spending on child sexual abuse investigations was "spaffed up a wall".
The comment came mere hours after Cardinal George Pell was jailed for six years in Australia for abusing two 13-year-old choir boys in the 1990 — and days after it was revealed MI5 was aware 1980s cabinet secretary Robert Armstrong had a "penchant for small boys".
"Keeping numbers high on the streets is certainly important. But it depends where you spend the money and where you deploy the officers…An awful lot of money and an awful lot of police time now goes into these historic offences and all this mullarkey. You know, £60 million I saw was being spaffed up a wall on some investigation into historic child abuse. I mean, what on earth is that going to do to protect the public now?" Johnson told LBC.
"I think this is a fundamental matter of government policy, whether or not you are going to disable your negotiators by saying you are willing to walk away from the table or not. If you are not able to walk away from a negotiation, what is your negotiating leverage?" he added.
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In response, Labour branded Johnson a "shameless, dangerous oaf", with party chair Ian Lavery branding his remarks were an "insult to every survivor of child sex abuse".
"These disgusting comments are an insult to every survivor of child sex abuse. "If Boris Johnson has even a little bit of decency he will now apologise to the victims and families of those who have suffered," he said.
Angela Rayner, shadow education secretary, said Johnson had hit "a new low even for him", and he must apologise for his "disgusting comments", which were "truly awful stuff".