We’re used to it by now – but it doesn’t mean we should stop holding him to account.
Boris Johnson submitted to questioning from LBC radio this morning for an hour, and he told a few porkies.
From police spending to NHS spending to spending on the garden bridge, there were a few familiar dodgy claims he made which just didn’t stack up.
Deputy Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “This interview has exposed yet again how Boris Johnson can’t be trusted and is simply not fit for the office of Prime Minister.
“Whether it was on nurses, hospitals or Brexit , Johnson spent an hour lying through his teeth.”
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner added: “Boris Johnson’s refusal to apologise for his hateful comments about single mothers, their children and working class men is an absolute disgrace.”
Even host Nick Ferrari hauled him up, saying: “You misrepresent the figures. Why do you continually do this Mr Johnson?”
On more police on the streets
WHAT HE SAID: “I’m also proud that we’re putting 20,000 more police out on the streets.”
THE FACTS: The number of police officers has fallen by around 21,000 since the Tories took power in 2010, so the new officers will only roughly make up for cuts.
On other people’s children
WHAT HE SAID: “I don’t comment on other people’s children.”
THE FACTS: In a 1995 Spectator column, he branded the children of single mothers “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate”.
On more money for the NHS
WHAT HE SAID: “The NHS, as you know, it’s the biggest increase in living memory, a £34bn increase.”
THE FACTS: The Tories are indeed pledging £34bn in cash terms by 2023/24 – a 3.2% real terms rise. But the IFS think tank makes clear this is still less than it used to rise under Labour – and comes after years of Tory cuts. The IFS said: “UK health spending has historically grown at an average real rate of 3.6% per year, but grew by just 1.3% per year between 2009−10 and 2018−19.” Labour’s plans promise real growth of 3.8% per year.
On 40 ‘new’ hospitals
WHAT HE SAID: “40 new hospitals will be built as a result of decisions we’re taking”.
THE FACTS:Boris Johnson ’s promise of 40 ‘new hospitals’ includes renovations of existing hospitals. He later conceded “they will be new buildings”.
On the Garden Bridge
WHAT HE SAID: He repeated his claim that Sadiq Khan, his successor as London mayor, plunged £17million into the Garden Bridge after he took office.
THE FACTS: This is deeply misleading. It was Boris Johnson who trumpeted a failed plan for a “floating paradise” across the River Thames that blew £43million of public money. He was a doughty defender of the “vanity project” – even making a secretive trip to San Francisco in 2013 in a bid to get Apple to sponsor it. Meanwhile Sadiq Khan announced a review of the project in September 2016 and it revoked approvals for it in May 2017. Yes, money was spent after Sadiq Khan became London mayor in May 2016 – but thrown into the mix were prior commitments and a ‘ministerial direction’ from the Tory-run Department for Transport.
Boris Johnson’s 10 biggest lies of the election
WHAT HE SAID: Delaying Brexit is “costing this country an extra billion pounds a month”. (Nov 18) THE FACTS: This cost is only when compared to a no-deal Brexit, in which the UK refuses to pay any divorce bill.
WHAT HE SAID: Labour “would wreck this economy with a £1.2trillion spending splurge.” (Nov 18) THE FACTS: The £1.2tn estimate wrongly claims a four-day week would begin on Day One, and counts disputed estimates and conference policies unlikely to be in Labour’s manifesto.
WHAT HE SAID: “Parliament first voted to approve this deal, and then voted for delay.” (Nov 6) THE FACTS: Parliament did not vote to approve the PM’s Brexit deal – MPs only passed it through its first Commons hurdle in principle before crucial amendments.
WHAT HE SAID: “Corbyn would spend the whole of 2020 having two referendums. One on Scotland.” (Nov 6) THE FACTS: Jeremy Corbyn has said he would not allow a referendum on Scottish independence in 2020.
WHAT HE SAID: Health spending boost is “the biggest increase in modern memory in the NHS.” (Nov 15) THE FACTS: The IFS says the Tories’ rise is 3.2% a year in real terms. Under the last Labour government it was 3.6% before dropping to 1.3% between 2009/10 and 2018/19.
WHAT HE SAID: “The Labour party have a policy of zero control” on immigration. (Nov 15) THE FACTS: Members voted at Labour’s conference to remove several controls, but not all controls, and it is thought the policy did not survive intact into the manifesto.
WHAT HE SAID: Jeremy Corbyn would “whack” Corporation Tax “straight back up to the highest levels in Europe.” (Nov 18) THE FACTS: Labour’s previous pledges to restore Corporation Tax to 26% would still be lower than France (32%), Portugal (32%), Germany (30%), Belgium (30%), Greece (28%) and Italy (28%), according to the OECD.
WHAT HE SAID: “This government has put far more into flood defences than the previous Labour government”. (Nov 15) THE FACTS: While the annual figure is now higher than under Labour, spending plunged under the first three full years of the Tories from 2011/12.
WHAT HE SAID: London murder rate was “fewer than 100 for several years running” when he was mayor (Nov 15) THE FACTS: Official figures compiled by the BBC show there was only one year in Boris Johnson’s eight as mayor where the homicide rate dropped below 100. It hit 94 in 2014.
WHAT HE SAID: “I am very proud of what we have done in the last 108 days or whatever it is, 108 days or so.” (Nov 6) THE FACTS: At the time Boris Johnson had been Prime Minister for 105 days, not 108.
For the full list of lies click here.
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