PM Boris Johnson lies over 'spaffing' child sex exploitation money comment during South Yorkshire visit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied saying police forces were ‘spaffing money up the wall’ on historic child sexual exploitation allegations while on a visit to South Yorkshire – despite being filmed saying it.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 12:57 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th September 2019, 12:57 pm

Mr Johnson visited South Yorkshire on Friday, taking in Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham during a whistle-stop tour which saw him speak at the Convention of the North event at Magna science museum.

During an question and answer session with local journalists, the PM was asked a question by a reporter from the Rotherham Advertiser.

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"A few months ago, you said in a radio interview that local police forces were spaffing money up the wall on investigations into historic CSE. Do you still believe they are?,” he was asked.

Mr Johnson replied: "Well, that’s actually not what I said, but what I certainly can say is all such investigations, certainly here, are extremely important.”

However, in March, Mr Johnson responded to a question on radio station LBC in which he was asked whether police cuts were linked to a rise in violent crime in London.

Boris Johnson in Rotherham. (Photo by Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

He responded: "I think an awful lot of money, an awful lots of police time, now goes into these historic offences and all this malarkey and you know £60million I saw has been spaffed up the wall on some investgation into historic child abuse?

"What on earth is that going to do to protect the public now?"

Diane Abbott, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, said: "Boris Johnson’s original comments were so shameful and hurtful to the victims of historic child abuse that it is no wonder he now wants to deny he ever said them.

“The Prime Minister must apologise, sincerely and profusely, for the harm his disgusting comments caused, and now for lying to the people about it.”