Police have launched an investigation into online death threats against Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s false claim that he has not prosecuted pedophile Jimmy Savile.
Documents, including a batch of messages from users of the Telegram app who appear to be identifiable, were sent to Scotland Yard on Friday by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCHR).
The Observer reports that they include calls for Sir Keir, who along with shadow foreign secretary David Lammy faced a mob in Whitehall last week shouting “paedophile protector”, to be executed.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “On Friday February 11, police received a third party report into allegations of malicious communications made against a sitting MP.
“An investigation is underway.”
No arrests have yet been made.
A Labor source said: ‘Of course extremists of all stripes don’t like Keir – he spent years helping put them in jail and protecting Britain’s streets from them.
The CCHR material, shown to The Observer, includes responses to footage of last week’s incident released by English Defense League founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – better known by his pseudonym Tommy Robinson – and the group of Resistance GB conspiracy theory.
Last week, in a slur that drew widespread criticism and called for him to apologise, Mr Johnson accused his rival of failing to prosecute Savile when he was director of public prosecutions.
On Monday, Sir Keir and Mr Lammy, who were returning from the Ministry of Defense after a briefing on the situation in Ukraine, had to be escorted away from protesters by police.
Although Sir Keir was head of the Crown Prosecution Service in 2009 when a decision was made not to prosecute Savile, he had no personal involvement in the deliberations.
In an interview with The Times this week, Sir Keir said he had never been called a ‘paedophile protector’ before.
He added: “If others want to argue that this has nothing to do with precisely what the Prime Minister said a week before, let them make that point. But they will never persuade me that there is no connection.
Mr Johnson tweeted on Monday night that the ‘directed behaviour’ against the Labor leader was ‘absolutely disgraceful’.
Critics said the Prime Minister’s jibe was completely unfounded and blamed the remark on anti-Covid restriction protesters targeting Sir Keir outside Parliament.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid, during a visit to east London on Tuesday, said footage of the opposition leader getting into a police car to be escorted away from protesters was ‘completely shameful’ .
But the Cabinet minister, who previously backed away from Prime Minister Savile’s comments, said ‘those to blame are the protesters themselves’ rather than Mr Johnson.