'Harriet Harman was ordered to stop misleading the public about rape by an official inquiry report yesterday.
The Equalities Minister was accused of pumping out unreliable figures about the low number of rapists brought to justice, thus discouraging victims from reporting attacks.
The review by Baroness Stern appeared to put an end to years of claims by ministers that laws and criminal procedures for dealing with rape need radical reform because only six per cent of complaints end in a conviction.
The six per cent figure relates to reported cases. In fact, the conviction rate for those actually charged with rape is nearly two out of three, higher than comparable figures for other violent crime.
The report's view is doubly humiliating for Miss Harman because it was she who set up the review.
Instead of condemning low conviction rates and demanding legal reforms - as ministers have repeatedly done over the past six years - Lady Stern said there should be more help for victims and greater use of police intelligence to track down men who serially attack and rape strangers.
Her report said: 'The figure for convictions of those charged with rape as the term is normally used is actually 58 per cent. There is concern that the six per cent figure can make victims feel it is not worth reporting.'
Last summer the watchdog UK Statistics Authority accused Miss Harman of 'undermining public trust' by exaggerating the pay gap between men and women.
Baroness Stern's report criticised 'sharp failures' by police in the cases of John Worboys, a taxi driver who was convicted of 12 attacks on women and may have committed more than 100, and Kirk Reid, suspected of 71 offences.
It called for sharing of police intelligence across London boroughs and for forces to consider specialist rape units.
Lady Stern also said the Ministry of Justice should study numbers of false rape accusations. Because the alleged victim's anonymity is guaranteed by law, critics say false claims can be made with impunity.
Lady Stern also said there should be an end to targets for rape convictions for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service; better forensic examination of complainants; better video evidence schemes for witnesses, improved compensation procedures for victims, and more explanation of sexual offences law to young people.'