Paul Gambaccini: Sir Keir Starmer to blame for ‘guilty until proven innocent’ treatment of alleged sex offenders

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Radio 2 DJ Paul Gambaccini is the latest guest on The Telegraph's weekly podcast, Planet Normal, hosted by columnists Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan
Radio 2 DJ Paul Gambaccini is the latest guest on The Telegraph's weekly podcast, Planet Normal, hosted by columnists Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan

“He’s not a real man," Paul Gambaccini tells Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson in his damning indictment of the Labour leader on the latest Planet Normal podcast, which you can listen to using the audio player above. According to the BBC Radio 2 DJ, Sir Keir, in a former role as Director of Public Prosecutions, was behind an ‘unfortunate change in emphasis’ in the police treatment of allegations of sexual abuse: “[He] said, ‘Do not focus on the accuser, focus on the accusation’”. The result, Gambaccini tells the podcast, was that “innocent until proven guilty turned into guilty until proven innocent.”

The ‘Pick of the Pops’ presenter, who spent a year on bail after being falsely accused of sex offences, made the comments after he and a group of other victims of alleged Met incompetence including Baroness Doreen Lawrence signed a letter to Boris Johnson demanding that Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick’s contract not be extended. Just days after the letter, it emerged that Dame Cressida would remain as head of the force until 2024.

Explaining why they had done so, Mr Gambaccini said: "We're talking about a barbaric institution... What the Met do is they gather in a circle, put their arms around each other, don't let anybody else in and don't let the truth out. And Cressida Dick has made zero progress in reforming that.”

Listen to Paul Gambaccini's full interview on Planet Normal, a weekly Telegraph podcast by Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan, featuring news and views from beyond the bubble. Use the audio player above or subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your preferred podcast app.

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