'Ludicrous' to suggest Rushdie responsible for attack, says Britain

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FILE PHOTO: Author Rushdie speaks during the opening news conference of the Frankfurt book fair

LONDON (Reuters) - It is "ludicrous" to suggest that novelist Salman Rushdie was responsible for the attack on him, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, after Iran's foreign ministry suggested the author was to blame.

"Clearly it is ludicrous to suggest that Salman Rushdie was in any way responsible for this abhorrent attack on him," the spokesman told reporters.

"This was not just an attack on him, it was an attack on the right to free speech and expression and the UK government stands both by him and his family, but equally we stand in defence of free speech around the world."

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)