THE Prime Minister has denied saying local police forces were "spaffing money up the wall" on historic CSE allegations - and insisted such investigations were "extremely important".
Boris Johnson was in Rotherham today (Friday) speaking at the Convention of the North at Magna where he announced a new authority which would take control of transport in the north of England.
The Advertiser asked Mr Johnson during a question-and-answer session: "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?"
Mr Johnson said: "Well, that’s actually not what I said, but what I certainly can say is all such investigations, certainly here, are extremely important.
"But the point I was making is that we do need to be backing our police to be fighting crime and that’s why we are investing in 20,000 police out on the street and putting about a billion more into policing.”
In March, Mr Johnson responded to a question live on radio programme LBC on which he was asked whether cuts to the police service are linked to the rise in violent crime in London.
In his response, he insisted that a more sensible use of police budgets was more important, adding: "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?"
Responding to Mr Johnson's denial, 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.”