You’re reading Reaction. To get Iain Martin’s weekly newsletter, columnists including Tim Marshall, Maggie Pagano and Adam Boulton, full access to the site and invitations to member-exclusive events, become a member HERE. 

Sir Keir Starmer had to be bundled into the back of a police car near the Houses of Parliament on Monday evening after being targeted by protesters shouting “traitor” and “why did you let Jimmy Savile off?”

MPs of all parties condemned the targeted incident and blamed Boris Johnson for, unwittingly, inspiring the protesters. Last week the PM accused the Labour leader of failing to charge Jimmy Savile when he was Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service. It’s an online conspiracy theory. Starmer headed the organisation, but was not involved in the decisions on Savile an inquiry found.

Chris Bryant MP, Chairman of the Standards Committee, said the verbal abuse targeted at Starmer was incited by the Prime Minister and was “the inevitable conclusion of his deliberate lies”.

Tory MP and former chief whip Julian Smith, who last week condemned the Tory leader for his controversial comments, tweeted: “It is really important for our democracy and for his security that the false Savile slurs made against him are withdrawn in full.”

Sir Ed Davy, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the incident “shows that Boris Johnson’s words have real-life consequences”, despite ministers leaping to Johnson’s defence over the remark.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police said that a man and a woman have been taken into custody for assaulting an emergency worker after a traffic cone was thrown at a police officer.