Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Former British foreign minister and senior Conservative Party lawmaker Boris Johnson has drawn massive criticism for his comments about an ongoing public inquiry into the past cases of child abuse.
In statements on Wednesday, senior politicians rushed to condemn Johnson for comments he had made a day earlier about The Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) which the former top diplomat described as a “malarkey”.
Johnson made the remarks while speaking on radio phone-in on LBC during a discussion about relocation of public funds to the British police to enable the force combat a knife crime epidemic in the country.
“One comment I would make is I think an awful lots of money, an awful lot of police time now goes into these historic offences and all this malarkey,” said Johnson, adding, “£60m I saw was being spaffed up the wall on some investigation into historic child abuse and all this kind of thing. What on earth is that going to do to protect the public now?”
Johnson, who was mayor of London for eight years until 2016, said the IICSA, set up in 2014 when Prime Minister Theresa May was home secretary, would not help restore order on the streets of Britain at a time if increased violence.
“What the people want is to see officers out on the streets doing what they were signed up to do,” he said, adding, “Keeping [police] numbers high on the streets is certainly important, but the question is where you spend the money and where you deploy the officers.”
The comments sparked massive criticism from those advocating the rights of people to have past cases of child abuse uncovered.
“If Boris Johnson has even a little bit of decency he will now apologize to the victims and families of those who have suffered,” said opposition Labour Party chair Ian Lavery.
Another Labour MP John Mann said Johnson’s comments on the IICSA, one of the largest and most expensive inquiries ever undertaken in Britain, would disappoint many who are seeking to have their past cases of child abuse heard.
“Try telling that to my constituent whose rapist got 19 years after we pressured for case to be re-opened,” said Mann.
Johnson resigned from May’s government in July while protesting against the government strategy on leaving the European Union. He is believed to be the top candidate to replace May at the top of the Tory party if she is forced out of the leadership.