A NORTH-East Labour MP has lambasted Boris Johnson for his “outrageous comment” that money spent on historic child abuse investigations is being “spaffed up a wall”.

The Tory MP’s remarks came the day after it was revealed five prison officers had been convicted of physically abusing boys at the former Medomsley Detention and in the wake of a shocking report, following a child sex abuse inquiry into institutions, including Stanhope Castle, in Weardale.

North West Durham PM Laura Pidcock, whose constituency includes Medomsley and Stanhope Castle, said: “Boris Johnson’s comments couldn’t be more ill-timed, with the (last ) Medomsley verdicts coming out yesterday.

“He clearly knows nothing about Medomsley Detention Centre and nothing about people who have suffered at the hands of abusers. To say that it is wasted money is deeply offensive.”

The Northern Echo:

Mr Johnson, who is the current favourite to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader, was arguing that police time and resources were being wasted on crimes committed years ago as he was questioned on an LBC radio phone-in on Wednesday morning.

He said: “And one comment I would make is I think an awful lot of money and an awful lot of police time now goes into these historic offences and all this malarkey.

“You know, £60m I saw was being spaffed up a wall on some investigation into historic child abuse and all this kind of thing. What on earth is that going to do to protect the public now?”

Miss Pidcock said: “The term that he used actually, to put it bluntly, is to do with ejaculation.

“For those people who have suffered at the hands of abusers, who have done the most reprehensible things from a position of power and domination . . . to say that to investigate that is a waste of police resource is utterly outrageous.

“And even more than that, he will represent people who have been abused as children and adolescents.

“What does it say to those people involved in any kind of institutional or in a family or even state institution?

“What does it say them in terms of coming forward? We should be building a climate that opens the door for people to disclose what happened to them not shut it down.

“He is a buffoon, but I think more than that he is a dangerous man.”

She added: “Anybody that knows anything about child abuse or any kind of sexual abuse, it doesn’t have to be child abuse, knows that one of the most damaging things to people who have been through that is they never speak about because of the shame and the pressure.

“In a collective sense, people that might have been abused by the same person might carry shame individually and not know they are not alone in that abuse. The idea that investigating that has no public use . . . he obviously doesn’t understand the lessons learned exposing such crimes can be helpful to our current institutions.

"I have no idea why in a positive sense he would have said that. I think that in a negative sense it’s because he probably doesn’t care."

Commenting on Operation Seabrook, the largest investigation of its kind, she added: “All of people who came forward to give evidence during Operation Seabrook are heroes, to be honest.

The Northern Echo:

“I know the mental pressure that is put on people that have to stand up and say what happened to them. They cannot be commended enough for contributing to some form of justice yesterday.

“I think it is really important that the investigation took place and that we shed light on what happened at Medomsley Detention Centre."

“That is so important for all of the people that went through the doors there. It was right that it went to trial and that energy and resources were invested on bringing people to justice.”