Nadine Dorries humiliated after car crash interview defending Boris Johnson’s far-right smear against Starmer

Dorries insisted that the PM tells the truth even when presented with the evidence of his lying

Nadine Dorries

After a bruising and humiliating day for Boris Johnson in the House of Commons yesterday following the publication of a redacted version of Sue Gray’s report, Nadine Dorries gave an extraordinary interview in which she struggled to defend Boris Johnson.

During exchanges in the Commons, Boris Johnson used a right-wing smear against Keir Starmer, accusing the Labour leader of failing to prosecute child sex offender Jimmy Savile when he was head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The baseless claim was first peddled by far-right groups online last year and a fact-check by the Reuters in October last year concluded: “There is no evidence to suggest Sir Keir Starmer, then (director of public prosecutions) DPP of the CPS, was directly involved in the decision not to prosecute Jimmy Savile.”

Culture secretary Dorries then sought to defend Boris Johnson in a series of media interviews later in the day. Speaking to Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy who asked how she could defend a prime minister repeating fake news, Dorries claimed that she had ‘no idea of the background of Starmer’ and that there were things that ‘Keir Starmer shouldn’t have said’.

Guru-Murthy then stated again: “Boris Johnson said something that was untrue. He misled the house today”, to which Dorries replied: “I don’t believe that was the case.” She went on to insist that the ‘prime minister tells the truth’.

Dorries was also condemned on social media following the interview. Otto English tweeted: “Hard to decide what Johnson’s biggest error was today. Spreading fake news about Jimmy Saville or sending Nadine Dorries in to defend him.”

James O’Brien tweeted: “I can’t imagine there are many circumstances in which Nadine Dorries would defend me, but I’m absolutely certain that there are none in which I’d want her to.”

Adil Ray said: “Wow. The Nadine Dorries interview just now with @krishgm was just extraordinary. Struggling to hold on and hold it together. Almost laughing at her own defence.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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