Starmers team intervened on case against teacher that sexted boy

Rishi Sunak brands Keir Starmer ‘another lefty lawyer’ at PMQs

Sir Keir Starmer’s team intervened to order the courts to drop a court case against a teacher accused of sexting a schoolboy. The case, which took place during Sir Keir’s time as Director of Public Prosecutions, was dropped after his senior legal adviser ordered the CPS in Wales to abandon it. The Labour leader has been accused of “hypocrisy” after the party published an advert earlier this week accusing Rishi Sunak of letting sex offenders walk free.

The case, which took place in 2013, saw a primary school teacher stand trial for sending sexually explicit text messages to a 16-year-old.

Speaking to Llanberis magistrates court, Prosecutor Julie Hughes said: “This was a sensitive case, which was reviewed carefully at the highest level, and the area CPS was satisfied both the evidential and public interest criteria had been met.

“However, the principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions has taken a different view.”

At the time, the teenager’s mum said she was “disgusted” by the decision.

Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith accused the Labour leader of being a “hypocrite”.

He told the Sun: “This case raises serious questions about just how ‘tough on crime’ Sir Keir Starmer was as Director of Public Prosecutions.

“Sir Keir is a hypocrite. How many more grubby cases about his own record are out there?”

A Labour source said this is not a case Sir Keir can remember being involved in, adding that there could have been any number of reasons why it was dropped.

Last week, the Labour Party released an advert attacking Mr Sunak on his crime record.

The party’s official Twitter account shared a post claiming that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak did not think adults convicted of sexually assaulting children should go to prison.

The poster cited Ministry of Justice figures that 4,500 adults convicted of sexually assaulting children have avoided jail and instead received community or suspended sentences since 2010.

Labour used the tweet to pitch itself as “the party of law and order”.

But the ad has prompted widespread criticism, with Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson describing it as “vile and desperate.”

Senior Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood described the ad as “appalling” and said it threatened to undermine the democratic process.

He added: “We should be better than this. I’ve called it out on my own side for stooping low and do so again now.”

Tory MP Robert Largan said: “I’m not going to quote tweet it. But that Labour Party post about the Prime Minister is in the gutter. Really shameful stuff.”

Meanwhile, SNP MP John Nicolson said: “This is absolutely nauseating. Politics cheapened and debased. The Labour Party wants to win, of course, but like this?”

But the ad also prompted criticism from within the party, with Labour MP and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell saying: “This is not the sort of politics a Labour Party, confident of its own values and preparing to govern, should be engaged in.

“I say to the people who have taken the decision to publish this ad, please withdraw it. We, the Labour Party, are better than this.”

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