Sir Keir Starmer insists he makes ‘zero apologies’ over ‘vile’ attack on Rishi Sunak

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 06: Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaks during a press conference following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's victory in a vote of confidence on June 6, 2022 in London, England. Conservative MPs have voted in favour of Boris Johnson remaining as Prime Minister by 211 to 148. The prime minister faced a vote of confidence among Conservative MPs this evening, after at least 54 MPs submitted letters to a party committee to trigger the vote. He prevailed, but with a higher proportion of his MPs attempting to eject him than voted against previous Prime Minister Theresa May when she faced a similar vote. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

SIR Keir Starmer last night doubled down on vicious political attack ads on Rishi Sunak – saying he makes “zero apologies” for them. 

The Labour boss insisted he backed “every word” of the ads – which critics dubbed as “vile” and “dog whistle”.

Sir Keir Starmer says he makes “zero apologies” for a controversial attack ad

Labour’s controversial ad

One last week claimed the Prime Minister did not think child sex abusers should go to prison.

Another said he backed letting burglars and thieves free.

The figures were from 2010 onwards – when Mr Sunak wasn’t even an MP until 2015.

And the Labour boss was Director of Public Prosecutions and had sat on the sentencing Council which determined rules for judges to use on criminals.

But Sir Keir told The Mail he was fully behind the extreme messaging, 

“no matter how squeamish it might make some feel”.

In his article Sir Keir says: “I make absolutely zero apologies for being blunt about this. I stand by every word Labour has said on the subject. When 4,500 child abusers avoid prison, people don’t want more excuses from politicians – they want answers.

“Rishi Sunak and successive Tory governments have let criminals get away with it because they don’t get it.

“They have never lived in those neighbourhoods… they have never walked in those shoes. I have. I know exactly who suffers when government goes soft on crime: not those insulated from its effects, but ordinary, decent people.”

It came amid an extraordinary briefing war about who was to blame for the attacks.

It emerged that shadow home secretary was not informed ahead of time of the decision to mock up the photos on social media.

It is understood it was coordinated by shadow justice Secretary Steve Reeds team after a series of articles on crime in the press.

One insider told the Mail on Sunday: ‘If Yvette disagrees so strongly with pointing out the Tories’ dismal record on crime, she knows where the door is. She still has delusions of being leader but leaders don’t stab people in the back.’

A Tory source said: “If Sir Keir Softie can’t even control events in Labour HQ, how could he possibly be trusted to run a country?”