Sir Keir Starmer has had literally nothing to say in response to one of his own MPs being stopped by the police over the weekend. Even Boris Johnson has put out a statement in sympathy with Dawn Butler, after she was pulled over in Hackney at the weekend when she was a passenger in a BMW driven by a black friend. Boris’s response was released this morning:
“Police have made a statement saying they made a mistake. But obviously it’s very important Met continue to do everything they can, as indeed they do, to show they’re serving every part of our country + serving every part of our community with fairness and equality”
Guido has also reproduced Sir Keir’s response in full:
Even LabourList has had no luck in drawing out a response from the Labour leader, embarrassingly for the party publishing that “LabourList has requested comment from the Labour Party and from Keir Starmer’s office, but has been referred back to Butler by the party and not received a response from the leadership.”
Starmer is clearly equally frightened of appearing ‘soft’ on law and order, or – on the other hand – of stepping into the political minefield of backing stop and search after one of his MPs – herself a vocal critic of the policing tactic – has been subjected to it. Running from both the public and his own MPs is not a good look.
UPDATE: Following Guido’s story, Sir Keir has finally issued a two-tweet statement.
“I reached out yesterday to Dawn Butler to discuss the incidence she reported and to offer our support. All allegations of racial profiling must be taken extremely seriously by the Metropolitan police.
It is imperative that the Black community have trust and confidence in our police. The abuse Dawn has received over social media is wrong and must be condemned.”
Why did that take so long?