Munira Mirza is a British political advisor who was the Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit under prime minister Boris Johnson, until she resigned today, 3 February 2022. She resigned in protest at Johnson’s false claims about Labour leader Keir Starmer. In Parliament yesterday, Johnson claimed that Starmer was responsible for the failure to prosecute the serial sex offender Jimmy Savile. Mirza previously worked under Johnson as Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture when he was Mayor of London.
The Resignation Letter
Dear Prime Minister,
It is with great regret that I am writing to resign as your Head of Policy.
You are aware of the reason for my decision: I believe it was wrong for you to imply this week that Keir Starmer was personally responsible for allowing Jimmy Savile to escape justice. There was no fair or reasonable basis for that assertion. This was not the normal cut-and-thrust of politics; it was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse. You tried to clarify your position today but, despite my urging, you did not apologise for the misleading impression you gave.
I have served you for fourteen years and it has been a privilege to do so. You have achieved many important things both as Prime Minister and, before that, as Mayor of London. You are a man of extraordinary abilities with a unique talent for connecting with people.
You are a better man than many of your detractors will ever understand which is why it is desperately sad that you let yourself down by making a scurrilous accusation against the Leader of the Opposition.
Even now, I hope you find it in yourself to apologise for a grave error of judgement made under huge pressure. I appreciate that our political culture is not forgiving when people say sorry, but regardless, it is the right thing to do. It is not too late for you but, I’m sorry to say, it is too late for me.