Five False claims made by Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions
'I would prefer to be led by a lawyer than a liar'
On Wednesday at PMQs, Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle was asked to retract a comment directed at Boris Johnson.
He said: “I would prefer to be led by a lawyer than a liar, will he now resign?” he was immediately forced to withdraw.
However, there were more than a few mistruths from the prime minister today.
1) The Tories are "fixing the cost of living" crisis
With energy bills, interests rates, and inflation rising, and the tax burden at its highest level since the 1950s, the cost of living is set to be one of the dominant political issues of 2022.
20 Tory MPs wrote to the prime minister at the start of January, urging him to cut VAT on fuel bills, a policy option he declared would be an advantage to leaving the European Union during the referendum campaign. So far, he has not.
While the government has lifted the living wage, inflation reached a 10-year high of 5.1 per cent in November, effectively meaning Johnson oversaw a 1.6 per cent cut in pay.
2) There are more staff working in the NHS than in 2020
Johnson said there were 44,000 more people working in the NHS than in 2020.
He was referring to the latest figures published by NHS England that show there were 1,205,362 full time staff in September 2021, 44,168 more than in September 2020.
However in January 2020, before the pandemic, there was a total 1,278,988 full time staff working in the NHS - that means there has been a 73,626 reduction in staff.
3) 'Labour are committed to abolishing Universal Credit'
Labour have pledged an overhaul of the Universal Credit system, that would allow low-income workers to earn more without seeing their welfare payments cut.
They have not committed to abolishing Universal Credit in its entirety.
In September, Labour forced an opposition day vote to reverse the Government's plans to cut the £20-a-week Universal credit uplift. It passed, but the cut still went ahead in early October - affecting 6 million families.
4) 'We have the fastest-growing economy in the G7'
If you look at the change over the most recent 12 months of data, this is true. But looking at growth over the last quarter of data (Q2 to Q3 2021), the UK is fifth.
Data from Q4 is not currently available.
The prime minister also failed to mention that the UK had the largest contraction in the first quarter of 2020 - he's boasting about catching up.
5) Bonus: The Prime Minister personally authorised the evacuation of 173 dogs and cats from Afghanistan, having previously claimed he didn't.
He didn't refute this during PMQs, but the news broke on Wednesday, while the commons was in session.
Boris Johnson previously dismissed claims that the government prioritised animals over people during the Afghanistan.
But an email published by the foreign affairs committee during PMQs shows the prime minister personally authorised the evacuation of 173 dogs and cats from Afghanistan.
On 7 December last year, Johnson said that it was “complete nonsense” that he had intervened to have the animals evacuated and that he had “no influence on that particular case.”